The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) on Friday secured an interdict from the Labour Court that stops the City of Joburg from firing about 130 employees.
The City of Joburg has already issued the termination letters that were supposed to see the affected employees dismissed at the end of this month, April.
The Mayor of Joburg Dr. Mpho Phalatse insists the conversion of fixed-term contracts to permanent jobs were irregular.
The City of Joburg has since put affected employees back on fixed-term contracts that expire next week Saturday.
However, SAMWU took the matter to the Labour Court, while it was already before the South African Local Bargaining Council (SALGBC) – the only employer organisation, representing 257 Municipalities.
On Friday, Judge of the Labour Court Connie Prinsloo ruled that pending the determination by the SALGBC of the dispute referred by the applicants under case number JMD032207, the respondents (City of Joburg) are “interdicted and restrained”.
Judge Prinsloo’s interdict stops the City of Joburg from, “implementing the council resolution taken on 25 February 2022 to the extent that the resolution rescinds the decision of the mayoral committee to convert staff from contact to permanent status and authorise the city manager to give effect to the resolution”.
It also prevents the City from, “implementing the management directive issued on 9 March 2022 in terms of section 51(k) of the MSA 32 of 2000 in respect of the conversion of fixed-term contracts to permanent employment”.
Judge Prinsloo also ruled that the “first respondent is to pay the applicants’ costs, such costs to include the cost of two counsel where so employed.”
Commenting on the favourable outcome, Thobani Nkosi, Regional Secretary of SAMWU Johannesburg said: “We are pleased that a competent court of law has once again ruled against the Democratic Alliance-led government’s racist and narcissistic conduct.
“This ruling comes as no surprise to us, as the union representing the affected employees.
“We’ve always maintained that the decision to convert our members from contract to permanent was in line and within the confines of the country’s constitution and labour laws.”