UAWU vow to intensify the strike for insourcing

Workers singing and dancing outside UCT's admin building on Friday. Photo by Mzi Velapi

The workers have been on strike for 2 weeks demanding to be insourced by the University of Cape Town.

Striking workers at UCT led by the University and Allied Workers’ Union (UAWU) have pledged to continue and intensify the strike for insourcing by the university. Workers from Bytes Document Centre, Protea Boekwinkel, Food and Connect, Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Protea Hotel Mowbray, various food vendors and the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) went on strike last week as they believe that the companies that they work for offer services to the institution that are crucial to its day-to-day running.

“We are looking at various ways of intensifying the strike and we are engaging other university stakeholders like students to support the strike,” said UAWU’s general secretary, Mzomhle Bixa. According to Bixa, the university’s management has not come to engage with them, even though in trying to avert the strike, this is precisely what the university was asking of the workers. “When we served them with the first notice they asked us not to go ahead with the strike and they said that they are committed to the discussion with us but now they have reneged on that position,” said Bixa.

The University of Cape Town referred Elitsha to last week’s media statement which states that it will not engage with the strikers as they are not employed by the university. “We have stated that we cannot get involved in the matter as it involves employees of business entities outside of UCT. Please direct further queries to these business entities,” said Elijah Moholola, UCT’s spokesperson.

According to the union, the number of striking workers has gone down and they believe that there are people who are deployed to convince the strikers to go back to work.

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