10111 call centre operators are continuing their national strike after Police management failed to respond positively to workers’ demands during negotiations held in Pretoria recently. South African Policing Union (Sapu) acting Provincial Secretary, Thabo Mgudi said the strike will affect residents badly because a high volume of calls will be missed. Workers demand a level 7 salary increase and threatened to embark on a bigger strike if the management fails to give them what they want. The strike was suspended about two weeks ago to allow Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) negotiations to continue.
Mgudi said workers are not reporting for duty and will keep protesting until the employer tables a better offer. He added that the strike will affect residents badly and emphasised that this does not seem to bother the employer.
He indicated that Police management and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) delayed the negotiations because they don’t want to increase workers’ salaries. He said Sapu will mobilise other workers’ unions to assist call centre operators to host a bigger strike until the employer tables a better offer.
“The employer takes advantage of our people and we won’t allow that as Sapu. Workers have been getting the lowest salary for years and this must come to an end,” emphasised Mgudi and added that political intervention was needed to resolve the matter and hoped Police Minister Fikile Mbalula would use his political expertise to resolve the issue before it got worse.
Provincial Police Corporate Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo was asked for comment but could not tell whether the strike affected services at the call centre and if officials from elsewhere had been deployed to assist for the duration of the strike.
Story & photos: ENDY SENYATSI