JOHANNESBURG, August 11 – The SA Police Service (SAPS) on Friday applied for an urgent application to stop striking workers from picketing outside the 10111 call centre in Midrand.
Police spokeswoman, Major General Sally De Beer, said non-striking employees were being intimidated at the centre. “Since Friday last week, Sapu [SA Police Union] affiliated 10111 employees who are striking at the Midrand call centre have been sporadically intimidating and threatening non-striking employees. Yesterday [Thursday], these unlawful acts escalated into them hurling objects at and damaging state vehicles,” said De Beer.
Crime call centre workers affiliated to Sapu downed tools last month after wage negotiations deadlocked. The strike was temporarily suspended for a few days as negotiations resumed at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). However, the Sapu strike resumed last week after the union said it had tried to reach out to the police ministry to no avail.
Sapu accused its rival, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), of delaying the CCMA negotiations and frustrating the talks.
“As the South African Police Service has an obligation to deliver optimal service to our communities, including an efficient emergency response capability, the acting national commissioner [Lesetja Mothiba] sanctioned that an urgent interdict be brought before court,” De Beer said, adding that contingency plans were in place to ensure emergency calls were attended to. ”Contingency plans are still in place at all 10111 call centres, which continue to run efficiently, with the strike having a minimal effect on service delivery. Problems have only been experienced at the Midrand centre and we call upon Sapu-affiliated employees to stop unlawful acts aimed at forcing others to join the strike.”
– African News Agency (ANA)