Today's Labour News

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ambulanceGroundUp reports that employees of Emergency Medical Services in Graaff-Reinet, who were on strike since last Tuesday, suspended their strike on Friday, even though according to the employees their grievances had not been resolved.  

The workers have been demanding payment of outstanding bonuses for several years.  During their protest action they reported for work, but refused to respond to emergencies.  About fifteen workers on Thursday were gathered in a restroom at the dilapidated EMS building in Murray Street.  They complained about their working conditions and showed GroundUp their waiting room, where there are no chairs or tables.  “We spend most of the time sitting on the floor … The walls of this building are peeling and there are cracks,” observed one employee.  A spokesperson for Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba stated that the striking staff were back at work “after successful negotiations with the department“.  But Msuthu Ndlovu, spokesperson for the workers of EMS Port Elizabeth, said:  “The grievances were not addressed.  We are still owed money by the government.  We decided to go back to work after divisions surfaced among workers … We therefore decided to suspend the strike as it was most likely that striking workers would be victimised by the government … We have to sit down and get organised then we (will) decide on the next move.”

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