Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In labour

The Labour Court in Braamfontein has to rank high on the scale of tedious places to have to go in life. Like up there with prison or the dentist.
This is the spot where our South African Local Government Association lodged an urgent application to have the current ongoing municipal strike declared illegal, and hopefully get our rubbish collectors, electricity technicians and all the rest back to work. Their union was there to oppose, because they apparently like staying off work, causing chaos and general mayhem and dirtying up our cities.
So off I popped to the Labour Court in Braamfontein and sat on a wooden bench and waited for the matter to be called. A few radical workers in red t-shirts came to watch. It was hot. Very, very hot. The air conditioner was on full blast and made such a racket that it was difficult to hear anything. Some journalists nodded off in the hothouse-like conditions. Legal eagles stripped down virtually to the bare minimum, faces shone and the sweat flowed.
Then a cellphone started ringing. The Judge called for the owner to switch it off. The flustered owner sat there looking at her swanky, shiny little red phone with the trendiest of tunes emanating from it. She pressed buttons on it to no avail. The jaunty melody continued. She pressed frantically, tried to turn it off and looked completely helpless.
"Try and take the battery off," someone hissed.
Eventually it stopped.
Then we were suddenly called out.
Salga had apparently withdrawn their application. We attended a brief press conference in the lobby where all parties made it clear that the strike was to continue, the negotiations were ongoing but the court battle would happen on another day.
Ah yes - another day another dollar.
And so the rubbish builds up.

1 comment:

  1. I have nothing against striking, if you really feel the need to do so, but I really don't understand why they have to make such a mess!
    The general populace is annoyed by the build up of rubbish already!