COJ130 heads back to bargaining council

COJ130 heads back to bargaining council

The conflict between the City of Johannesburg and some 130 of its aggrieved employees is heating up.

COJ130 workers Samwu labour court April 2022

Last month acting city manager Mesuli Mlandu signed off on the council's decision to reverse the permanent employment of some staff.

The notices of regularisation would see the 130 contracts of employees attached to political offices converted back to fixed term.

Since then, the city and the workers have been engaged in an ongoing legal battle.

On Friday, the Labour Court threw a lifeline to the 130 workers by granting the workers an interim interdict, halting the February 25 council resolution that would see them jobless by the end of the month.

But the victory was short-lived with the bargaining council throwing out their unfair dismissal claim later in the same day.

The lawyers representing some of the municipality's employees have now announced they would be heading back to the bargaining council to challenge what they call an "erroneous ruling".

"Strangely after the Labour Court ruling - the SALGBC erroneously ruled on the jurisdiction issue and not the merits of our contract of employment with the city, and accordingly made an erroneous ruling of dismissal based on Jurisdiction. This was done in terms of no rule of the Bargaining Council as a conciliator cannot make such rulings," said South African Municipal Workers' Union leader Thobani Nkosi.

"Our lawyers have today referred the matter for Arbitration at the SALGBC to correctly ventilate the matter on merits and submissions on jurisdiction."

Nkosi warned the city not to make any hasty decisions, including advertising for the 130 positions.

"As the matter has now formally before arbitration, which is in accordance Labour Court judgment issued on Friday, the affected employees urge the city to comply with the court order and not be in contempt," Nkosi added.

Samwu is also set to return to the Labour Court for a second leg, seeking a permanent solution to the matter.

The union will return to the court with new lawyers in a bid to "cover all angles". 

Listen to Nkosi below:


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