Today's Labour News

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kznlogo thumb100 Daily News reports that bodies are piling up at state-run mortuaries around KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) with the spread across the province of a go-slow by health department staff over non-paid wages and “hazardous” working conditions.  

On Thursday, workers at the Fort Napier Medico-Legal Mortuary in Pietermaritzburg went on a go-slow and started processing only two bodies daily as opposed to the norm of 12.  The facility had a backlog of 26 bodies on the day.  Apparently, 25 bodies were transferred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, but on Tuesday an employee indicated that “we are again sitting with 26 bodies”.  On Monday, the Pinetown Medico-Legal Mortuary had 32 bodies, while Park Rynie Medico-Legal Mortuary had 12 bodies awaiting post-mortems.  The Public and Allied Workers’ Union of SA (Pawusa) said the impasse dated back to 2006 when the department took over the mortuaries from the police service.  Pawusa’s Halalisani Gumede asserted that at that time, experienced and newly-employed workers were graded the same.  According to Gumede, there had been ongoing talks with the department, followed by strikes and go-slows, but management had failed to come up with a solution to the problem.  He reported that the Magwaza Maphalala (Gale) Street mortuary, which received between 40 and 50 bodies a week, was expected to the join the action on Wednesday.  Gumede also said there have been talks with shop stewards to have staff at all provincial mortuaries join the action.

  • Read the full original report by Chris Ndaliso at Daily News

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