The Kouga Municipal offices were closed in Jeffreys Bay today by striking workers, who blocked the entrance of the building and proceeded to trash the front lawn and parking area.
DA Councillor Brenton Williams spoke to some of the striking workers in order to ascertain what the reasons are for the strike.
According to the workers, there are many “casual employees” at the Municipality, some of whom have been working for the Municipality for a few years.
They are demanding that these “long serving employees” receive contracts instead of being deemed casual and being paid a low wage.
They argued that some casual employees are actually driving code 14 trucks and not being paid accordingly. Yet, when a senior person in the Municipality acts up in a senior position, this person receives all the associated benefits.
The lack of an organogram in Kouga Municipality is also a grievance raised by the striking workers. They say that there are many vacant positions that are being filled by casual workers, who are being exploited as they do the work, but have no job security or other benefits.
The Mayor, and the mayoral committee met with the strikers two weeks ago and a seven day deadline was set to address their grievances.
Another meeting was then held with the Municipal Manager (MM) and the Directors.
The strikers maintain there has been zero feedback from the meeting with the MM, hence their decision to go on strike.
Another of their demands is that the MM must be fired as he is incapable of running the Municipality.
At this stage, there is no refuse removal taking place in Jeffreys Bay and residents are requested not to leave their black bags on the pavement.
It is hoped that a meeting tomorrow between the strikers and management at Kouga Municipality will see the offices being opened for the public.