Today's Labour News

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gautengSowetan reports that the Gauteng department of health warned in papers filed at the Johannesburg Labour Court on Monday that mortuaries would be plunged into a crisis should workers continue to refuse to dissect corpses.  

The department was due to go to court on Thursday in a bid to have the industrial action by forensic officers at 11 mortuaries in Gauteng declared illegal.  Since 7 March, workers have been refusing to dissect bodies, their complaint being that the work was not in their job descriptions and they did not have the necessary training.  The SA Liberated Public Sector Workers Union (Salipswu) accused the department of reneging on a June 2017 agreement to train the workers.  Chief executive for forensic pathology services, Dr Medupe Modisane, said in court papers that the strike could drive mortuaries into crisis mode.  There was a backlog of about 65 bodies on Tuesday, said Modisane, and he expected the numbers to escalate as new bodies were brought in.  Moses Tsotetsi of Salipswu said on Wednesday that workers were not on strike, but were refusing to do work for which they were not trained.  He said workers were performing other duties such as picking up bodies and attending court proceedings.

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