Health MEC is on strike – we’re on go-slow, says irate worker

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Nom­pen­dulo Ngubane

Strik­ing work­ers bar­ri­caded the gates of Fort Napier Medico Le­gal Mor­tu­ary in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg on Thurs­day, and were joined by other Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers’ Union (Ne­hawu) mem­bers from dif­fer­ent KwaZulu-Natal re­gions.

The pro­test­ers car­ried plac­ards aimed at pro­vin­cial health MEC Si­bongiseni Dhlomo.

Mor­tu­ary staff have been on a go-slow since last month, de­mand­ing wage in­creases and bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions. They have pre­vi­ously told GroundUp that con­di­tions at Fort Napier mor­tu­ary are shock­ing.

They are de­mand­ing back­pay they say was promised on April 1. The pro­vin­cial health depart­ment is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum for the work­ers to re­turn to work or face ar­rest.

“They must come and ar­rest us. We don’t care,” said an irate worker.

Nokubonga Mag­wenyane said: “Dhlomo has failed to hon­our his prom­ises as the head of the depart­ment. We are not the ones strik­ing; Dhlomo is. Work­ers are on a go-slow; there is a dif­fer­ence.

“On Mon­day, po­lice came here. They took the cars, car keys and the sta­tionery. There is no reg­is­ter. How are we sup­posed to work? He [MEC] must stop mis­lead­ing the pub­lic. He is the one who is not work­ing.”

Joshua Sime­lane, chair of Ne­hawu in the Harry Gwala re­gion, who also works at the mor­tu­ary, said: “We met with na­tional of­fi­cials on Tues­day who de­ployed Dhlomo to deal with the mat­ter provin­cially. Prior to that the unions met in Gaut­eng to dis­cuss about the money is­sue. Dhlomo is the one who promised to pay work­ers … That has never hap­pened.” –

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