No work, no pay principle to apply to striking employees

Acting Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says the no work, no pay principle will apply to employees embarking on illegal strike action.

In a virtual media briefing on Monday, Nxesi said no disciplinary action should be taken against employees embarking on peaceful picketing.

“Disciplinary action should be taken against those employees who block entrances and embark in an unlawful strike,” Nxesi said.

He said government expects employees to come to work because the strike has been interdicted.

“No leave should be taken during this period of the strike. Careful consideration should be taken when granting leave,” Nxesi said.

Responding to a question about employees who said they are not going back to work until the 10% increase has been granted, Nxesi said government will not announce the offer in the media.

“We are persuading all other parties to come back to the negotiations. This is where the offer will be discussed and announced,” Nxesi said.

According to the department’s Director-General, Yoliswa Makhasi, there has been a number of reports received about people blocking entrances and those who got arrested for embarking on unlawful strike action.

Wage negotiations broke down last month between unions and the DPSA.

The department offered a 4.7% increase, while unions are demanding between 10% and 12%.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said it is disappointed with the ruling of the Labour Court interdicting the public service strike action, which was to commence today.

The court ruling follows an urgent application by the DPSA, heard in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Saturday, after being postponed on Friday.

In a statement, the DPSA said government respects the rights of trade unions to organise, and the rights of members to embark on peaceful and lawful protests, including pickets and strikes.

“It is the commitment of government to ensure that these hard fought for rights are discharged in a manner that does not disrupt service delivery, especially in relation to essential services such as health,” it said in a statement.

Nehawu said it will go ahead with the wage strike despite the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) obtaining a court interdict.

Source: South African Government News Agency