On Tuesday night, the majority of Cape Town’s fire stations were not operational as firefighters only worked an eight-hour shift from 08h00 to 16h00. Several firefighters have since been suspended after embarking on the shift change, the South Africam Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) confirmed.
Employees from various fire stations warned that if their salary expectations are not met and overtime is not paid for they will continue with their current working hours. Firefighters gathered in Cape Town last week to hand over a memorandum with their demands after raising various issues within the fire department.
“It has come to our attention that the executive director of safety and security in the Western Cape is busy suspending firefighters. The City of Cape Town was warned timeously that from October 1, firefighters will work according to their Basic Conditions of Service in the absence of the Fire Agreement.
“The City has no legal grounds to suspend staff for working according to the BCEA. The reasons stated in the so-called provisional suspension letters are farfetched. We have not witnessed any incitement or unrest at any of the 32 fire stations.
“The threats being continuously made will not stop the staff members from exceeding their rights to stand up against exploitation and unfair labor practices. Samwu is adamant that members are within their legal rights,” Samwus chairperson, Mhle Dlamini, explained in a statement.
With firefighters continuing their eight-hour shift daily, this means if a fire breaks out after 16h00 and throughout the night, there will be only a few stations who are able to respond to the publics emergencies. The employees told Deen Times that they will continue working the shift until their demands are met.
An update on this matter will be published soon. Read more: Law Enforcement remove off-duty firefighters from fire stations – https://deenchannel.com/law-enforcement-remove-off-duty-firefighters-from-fire-stations/?fbclid=IwAR37xNphl8gYSDA9s2dmeW-N3YCIKTro4BrzE9Ivy4uQNx0fSntIo7o-JiE