Joburg signs landmark co-operation agreement with labour unions

19 August 2019 - 13:37 By TimesLIVE
The memorandum of understanding is said to be the first of its kind in local government history.
The memorandum of understanding is said to be the first of its kind in local government history.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Cornel Van Heerden

The city of Johannesburg and two trade unions on Monday signed a memorandum that aims to enable an “open-door” policy and resolve labour relations issues before they escalate to strike action.

The memorandum of understanding says the city, the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) and the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) will engage in good faith and provide mechanisms to achieve stability in labour relations.

“The memorandum is a first of its kind in local government history, achieving a strategic partnership between the city and its trade unions,” said a joint statement by the three groups.

In February, the city disconnected the electricity at Samwu's offices, saying it was owed R1.2m for electricity, water, sewage, rates and refuse.

At the time, Business Day reported that Samwu and the city had been engaged in a protracted battle over a number of issues that dated back years. Relations had worsened since the city withheld the union’s subscription fees in 2017.

The MoU details that each of the three parties will now “hold each other to account in a manner that forms a healthy relationship between government and organised labour”.


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