Health MEC is on strike – we’re on go-slow, says irate worker
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.” – Groundup.org.za