Striking municipal workers got a boost when about 3,000 supporters rallied outside municipal offices in Lesedi, a community in Heidelberg, South Africa, near Johannesburg on April 25.
The strikers, members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union, have been on strike for six weeks. About 300 of them have been threatened with firing while the local managers have awarded themselves substantial increases and bonuses.
Leaders of the Lesedi branch of SAMWU presented the mayor with a list of demands and urged the council to get back to the negotiating table. The crowd peacefully chanted and sang its support for the workers as armed police watched them.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the equivalent of the Canadian Labour Congress, organized the rally and local and regional leaders brought strong messages of solidarity.
Visiting CUPE senior researcher (international solidarity) Ron Verzuh brought greetings of solidarity to the rally at the strikers’ request.