Disruption of Parliament due to staff strike

24 November 2015

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes with grave concern the resumption of the strike by the staff of Parliament yesterday, which resulted in the disruption of the sittings of the National Assembly and the NCOP as well as several committee meetings today. The chief whips of political parties have agreed to postpone further meetings today and to extend the National Assembly programme by additional two days. Parliament will now rise on Friday instead of Wednesday as initially scheduled.

We are disappointed that despite the consensus reached by the workers' representatives and the management of Parliament a week ago regarding the calculation of performance bonuses, the impasse is continuing. We hailed the settlement reached by the parties as we hoped it brought to an end the two week strike and would allow Parliament to conclude its remaining programme for this year without further disruption.

We reaffirm our support for the right of workers to strike and to withdraw labour in demand of their labour rights. The disruption, however, regrettably harms MPs' Constitutional right to perform the duties for which they were elected. It is in this vein that we strongly appeal to the two parties in the dispute to do all they can to speedily resolve the outstanding differences - which we believe are not insurmountable. The inability of the institution to execute its function and pass important decisions adversely impact on the lives of millions of ordinary South Africans. The two parties owe it to this Parliament, on whose shoulders rests the aspirations of our people, to see to it that this protracted dispute is resolved without further delay.

As a Majority Party in this institution, the strike of the parliament staff and the associated disruptions of the work of Parliament concern us. We will therefore not sit on the sidelines, but decisively intervene to ensure a speedy resolution.

ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ANC CHIEF WHIP

Enquiries:
Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930

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