SARS Workers To Strike This Week

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High inflation and the rising cost of living in South Africa have left citizens trying to stretch their salaries to meet their needs. This has seen an intensification of labour unions calling for salary increases.

 


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Some workers at the South African Revenue Services (SARS) will embark on a nationwide strike Wednesday as wage negotiations between the employer and workers' unions have stalled. 

In a statement, SARS said the demands made by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) and Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) are unaffordable. The two trade unions are demanding an increase of CPI + 7%. 

SARS says workers have been affected by financial challenges after no provision was made for salary increases in the funding they received from National Treasury. 

The revenue service did say they have offered a provision of R500 million for salary increases. This proposal was formally extended to organised labour on Sunday. 

SARS explained, “Through its own diligence in managing costs, and other initiatives, SARS is, therefore, able to make some funds available towards Bargaining Unit employees”.

PSA assistant general manager Reuben Maleka said that unions still need to quantify what the R500 million will mean in terms of a percentage increase for workers.

Maleka added, “The purchasing power of workers has long been eroded, we are trying to put them in a position where they can be able to purchase”.

He also revealed that employees will engage in lunchtime pickets on Monday and Tuesday, but warned that a full-blown strike is scheduled for Wednesday. 

Commissioner of SARS, Edward Kieswetter said that SARS was able to provide some financial relief to its employees under difficult conditions.

“I also remind our employees that we are inordinately privileged to have employment security at a time when so many are unemployed and financially destitute”, concluded Kieswetter.

 

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