The Independent Municipality and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) has announced its intent to contest the judgment passed down by the Labour Court on working hours and allowances.
In a statement on Tuesday, 3 March 2020, the Labour Court passed its judgment on the working hours and allowances of the Fire and Rescue Services staff. The judge made several findings, including the South African Municipal Workers’ Union’s (SAMWU) refusal of working shifts per the Collective Agreement constituting as an unprotected strike. As such, the court interdicted SAMWU members from refusing to work said shifts.
“The Fire and Rescue Services Collective Agreement is valid and binding, until a new agreement is concluded. The counterclaim of SAMWU seeking to declare all 24 hours of shifts as working hours is dismissed with cost by the court,” the statement read.
After receiving the court’s judgment, IMATU advised SAMWU that the best remedy to address the staff’s dissatisfaction with shift allowances was through Interest arbitration, which the court confirmed as true.
“IMATU will now file a new demand for negotiation in consultation with our members. The demand will cater for all the Fire Service members [and] IMATU will, thereafter, refer the issue to Interest Arbitration. In such proceedings, the arbitrator will rule on a fair outcome in terms of all the listed issues, including the allowances percentage,” the statement concluded.
IMATU has since promised to keep members updated as the process evolves.