Seven action including the detention of a union leader and the sacking of more than one-thousand strikers on Friday (1 August) ended, officially at least, the week-long strike by municipal workers in the South African city of Johannesburg.
GV Johannesburg residents dumping cans of rubbish at central collection point.
SV PAN Garbage truck stops in street and people tip sacks of rubbish into hopper.
CU & SVs People collecting rubbish from gutters and putting it into sacks. (3 SHOTS)
SV People throwing full sacks of rubbish into collection hopper.
SCU PAN Troops escorting workers down footpath and across road and into yard of building.(2 SHOTS)
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Background: Seven action including the detention of a union leader and the sacking of more than one-thousand strikers on Friday (1 August) ended, officially at least, the week-long strike by municipal workers in the South African city of Johannesburg. Leader of the unregistered Black Municipal Workers' Union, Joseph Mavi, was detained by police at the Supreme Court where he had been seeking an injunction to prevent Johannesburg Council and police action against union members. Mr. Mavi was held under the Sabotage and Riotous Assembly Acts.
SYNOPSIS: The strike, which at one stage involved ten- thousand of Johannesburg's 12-thousand strong black municipal workforce, affected gas, transport, cleansing, markets and electricity services. But it was cleansing and sanitation which concerned the city leaders most. For seven days, vast heaps of garbage piled up in johannesburg's streets. On Thursday (31 July), local residents still were attempting to clean the streets and cram the garbage into an inadequate number of containers. At the same time, Johannesburg City officials claimed that the number of strikers had been reduced to about 24- hundred, and that many more would have returned, but for intimidation and threats. The eventual return to work followed a City ultimatum to strikers that they faced instant dismissal unless they reported for duty.
The strike, for more pay and the right to representation for black unions, followed continuing black unrest in many parts of South Africa, including strikes in the motor industry, and a school boycott. Municipal employees who said they wanted to return to work were given police escorts to their factories, plants and depots. By Friday (1 August) 12-hundred workers who had refused to bow to the ultimatum were loaded on to fleet of buses and taken, again under police escort, to their black homelands of Transkei and Venda, or to the satellite black township of Soweto. Whether returning to work or being deported to their homes, the strikers failed to achieve their pay rise.