The National Chairman of the Manual Workers Union, Othusitse Tsalaile, has warned that they will, in the near future, embark on nationwide demonstrations to force the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) to release a long-awaited Public Service Act, which was supposed to have been released way back in April.
Tsalaile said that they had gone for the last two months without being told why the Act has not been released.
“Nobody has come to us and told us the reason the Act has not been released to us in April as was supposed to have been the case and we are worried that they have seen it fit to keep us in the dark about this important document,” he said.
This, he said, will force them to instruct and tell their members about the delay in releasing the report and then, probably, urge them to embark on nation-wide marches to demand its release from those keeping it.
”They are gradually forcing us to take to the streets to demand the document they have failed to release to us. If pushed to the wall, we will do just that,“ he declared.
Asked why the document is important to them, Tsalaile said that the report is expected to contain important information about, among others, payment leave concessions to their members after every two years (and not five years as is the case now) and six months paid sick leave and then six months half salary for their sick members.
“As you can see, this is very important information to us and that is why we want it out as soon as possible,“ he said.
Tsalaile said that the report is being withheld from them on purpose and probably for political reasons but vowed that they will fight to have it in their hands.
In the 80s, the Union embarked on the biggest strike seen in the country. Their presence was felt as streets were littered with uncollected garbage, with public facilities, such as toilets, left uncleaned.
At that time, they were demanding a basic salary of P600 and, in the end, the government gave in to their demands.
Attempts to get a comment from DPSM management were futile.