POPCRU members stage lunchtime picket in Vereeniging’s Correctional Services

Public Service workers belonging to the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) have embarked on a lunchtime picket at the Department of Correctional Services in Vereeniging on Wednesday.

The protests are part of the union’s plans to mobise workers to reject the government’s proposed 3% wage increase in the public sector.

Unions in the public sector have threatened to down tools if the government doesn’t revise the current offer to a 10% that is above the inflation rate.

The workers have also raised concerns about staff shortage and corruption at the Leeuhof Correctional Centre in Vereeniging.

Public Service workers belonging to Popcru have braved the scorching Vaal weather for a lunchtime picket at the Leeuhof correctional services facility in Vereeniging.

These workers are categorised as essential service workers. They include members of correctional services officials. They parked their lunchboxes on a cost-of-living picket.

“Workers are rejecting the 3%. We are from Gauteng, Free State and Northern Cape. There are issues of housing and medical aid that have not been adhered to by Government and we are frowning to that hence we are here to demonstrate,” says Tinti Lusenga: Popcru Gauteng Regional Chairperson.

The workers have also called for intervention at the Leeuhof Correctional Centre citing rampant corruption, staff shortage and the centre has seen prisoners escape unhinged.

“There is an issue of deadlock around shifts unilaterally changed by the Acting Area Commissioner, Mr Mbele, there must be investigations done because there are escapes happening here and senior managers implicated but nothing was done. There is gross negligence, Mr Konyana lost the arsenal keys and nothing was done to him,” says Lerata Motsiri from POPCRU Gauteng Provincial Secretary.

These workers say they are looking forward to joining other labour federations to down tools in the public sector. They accuse government arrogance in the insistence of the 3%

The memorandum of demands was not submitted as planned, and officials from the Leeuhof correctional services were not available to receive documents, a move that has made workers angry.

“They are very arrogant so now they’ve demonstrated that by not coming to accept the memorandum today but we are not going to rest, this is the beginning, they are not going to rest up until our demands are met here. We want Konyane and Mbele removed,” says Lusenga.

POPCRU members have slammed the management of the Correctional Services facility in Vereeniging for failing to honour their appointments over the handing of a memorandum. They say talks continue on raised issues at the Leeuhof correctional service.

These workers will join other members for a match in Tshwane on a date that will be confirmed at a joint Cosatu briefing on Thursday.

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Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)