Today's Labour News

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ambulanceGroundUp reports that Eastern Cape emergency medical services (EMS) workers embarked on a strike on Monday demanding outstanding overtime pay.  

Some workers claimed they had not been paid their overtime pay since 2003.  The strike has been declared unlawful by officials who have promised to take disciplinary action against employees who participated in it.  Provincial health MEC Helen August-Sauls stated:  "We are disappointed that the workers have embarked on an illegal strike knowing that they are employed as essential services and therefore are not to be on strike.  The department will undertake internal processes for on duty employees involved in this illegal strike."  She indicated that her department was busy processing overtime payments from 2015 to 2018.  An ambulance driver who has been employed for nearly 10 years said the state had very few ambulances and was understaffed, adding that they were overwhelmed by calls and ended up working overtime.  Another driver said he was owed "a lot of money for the past two years".  The department said private ambulances would be used to respond to life-threatening cases during the strike.

  • Read the full original report by Joseph Chirume at GroundUp


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