Free State workers trash Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein – Contents of ripped refuse bags, beer bottles and paving stones littered the streets of Bloemfontein on Thursday after striking municipal workers took part in a salary protest march.

Hundreds of members of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) took part in the march to the Bram Fischer building, the main administrative building of the Mangaung metro.

Workers from time to time set alight piles of rubbish collected from the pavements as they walked in Maitland Street.

Many protesters openly drank beer while tearing bags and kicking the contents around.

Samwu and the union, Imatu, demanded an 18% wage increase, but have since revised this to 10%.

The SA Local Government Association, on behalf of member municipalities, has offered about six percent.

Mangaung metro spokesperson Qondile Khedama said the littering and drink was unfortunate for people who had a serious grievance.

“It is shocking this kind of unbecoming behaviour, and the damages to property.”

Khedama said the metro acknowledged that union members had a right to protest and that it was not only striking members who took part in the bad behaviour.

Nevertheless, he urged union leaders to discipline their members who misbehaved.
http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Freestate-workers-trash-Bloemfontein-20110825

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