Johannesburg’s refuse collectors, employed by waste management agency Pikitup, began their full-blown strike on Thursday morning, the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said.
Spokesman Tahir Sema said about 2000 workers were busy gathering for a meeting on the first day of the strike.
He could not immediately confirm the meeting point, however Johannesburg Metro Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said that workers were expected to gather in Joubert Park.
Pikitup received the strike notice earlier this week, after workers embarked on a go slow in certain areas.
Workers have accused Pikitup of being “riddled with corruption”, and of refusing to address workers’ legitimate concerns.
“Workers are concerned about the department and would want for Pikitup to be free from corruption and nepotism,” Sema said.
Other disputes were around wage disparities and the intimidation of union members.
Sema said most Pikitup employees were union members.
Pikitup spokeswoman Pansy Oyedele said on Wednesday that the company tried everything in its power to reach an agreement with Samwu.
She said that management met with Samwu on Wednesday to try and find a way forward.
However, Sema said Samwu repeatedly made calls for an urgent meeting with Pikitup, to no avail.
“Management has refused to meet with us,” he said.