BCM workers’ path littered with threats


Buffalo City Metro has laid a complaint with police against temporary refuse collectors who allegedly “intimidated” BCM workers at the Cambridge waste depot last week.
The temporary workers were also alleged to have threatened to destroy property.
Acting metro manager Appana Naidoo has offered residents an apology for the “unforeseen interruption” in the refuse collection services in the past weeks.
Temporary workers protested at the Cambridge plant on Thursday after they received letters informing them their contracts would not be renewed. Some 200 workers have continued to report for duty after their term ended.
These are the workers who were roped in when the metro battled to clean its streets after the violent protests by Samwu workers who trashed the city.
Naidoo said on Monday the protest action was illegal.
“We have since opened a case with SAPS against the intimidation of our workers by these former temporary workers and we are working with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the impact of such acts is contained,” he said.
“We have assured our workers of their safety and they are thus back at work, therefore restoring our waste management operations.
“[We] will be fully implementing a day and night shift system in order to address the backlog. We will be working hard to remove the sprouting of illegal dumping sites while continuing with waste collection in business and residential areas.”
The state of cleanliness of our city over the past week was “deeply regretted” and for this the municipality “profusely apologises”.
Temporary workers claimed they were exploited by the metro when it needed assistance. Contractors who were signed for a month of seasonal work said they expected to be employed for six months, a promise they said was made by BCM councillor Ntsiki Peter.
At the protest, Peter addressed the workers and informed them their term started on December 24 and ended on January 31.
Workers countered by claiming they were not informed of a month’s contract.
Some permanent BCM workers came out in support of the temporary refuse collectors.
They said they were overworked and needed the temporary workers’ assistance...

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