Firfighters affiliated to the National Union of Public and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) marched to the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism earlier today (Friday) demanding among others better wages and working conditions and in sourcing of Working on Fire (WoF) workers.
A memorandum of grievances was handed over to Chief Director Corporate Services of the department, Elias Mugari.
According to Solly Malema, Nupsaw’s National Organiser they want all WoF workers in the country to be integrated into the Department of Environmental Affairs. “The union has, on those grounds, failed to understand why the Department of Environmental Affairs is so reluctant to integrate Working on Fire Workers. The approach the Department of Environmental Affairs has taken to outsource the services of WoF employees is very upsetting and unnecessary expenditure,” Malema said.
He also added that WoF workers have been earning a minimum wage of R2 000 per month for the past 14 years. “They have not seen an increase in salaries and have been told on several occasions that WoF do not have authority to change salaries and that the rates and annual increment are set out by the department. It is disappointing to note that the department doesn’t view this as financial mismanagement,” concluded Malema.
Story & photos: Herbert Rachuene