Security officers at the Steve Biko Academic hospital abandoned their posts on Thursday morning.
The disgruntled workers threatened to shut the hospital entrances saying they have been experiencing irregular payment from contractor, Born to Protect since 2014. Workers’ union, Academic Professional Staff Association (APSA), said the contractor had an agreement to pay staff on the 27th of every month, but would often pay workers late.
“Workers should be paid on the 27th as per the agreement, but sometimes they get paid on the 7th or the 15th of the following month,” APSA shop steward, Mahlomula Ledwaba said.
“Workers were supposed to be paid last week Wednesday, but they weren’t. When we went to find out we were told that they would be paid yesterday (Wednesday). They keep giving us the runaround,” he said.
Ledwaba said the 210 affected workers were still not paid to date.
“Some of the workers cannot come to work because they do not have transport money and they get written warnings as a result. But the employer won’t pay,” said Lebwaba.
Insourcing was another of the workers’ grievance.
“We were told that the contractor has a lot of debts. This means our workers are still going to suffer under this contractor and so we would like the hospital to start insourcing,” Ledwaba said. Incourcing involves using an organization’s own personnel or other resources to accomplish a task.
The shop steward said workers will continue to protest until their demands were met.
“We will shut down the gates until Monday if needs be.”