Cosatu in the Free State has condemned employers who are allegedly forcing their workers to report for duty in the volatile Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality.
It said it had noted with anger the developments in the municipality that began with water shortages and electricity blackouts.
The trade union federation’s provincial secretary, Monyatso oa Mahlatsi, said it had raised these issues with the provincial government and ANC since 2016.
Mahlatsi added it was disappointing that nothing had changed in the municipality.
“The situation is such that the community have declared a total shutdown in the area resulting in many access roads being blockaded. We are therefore disappointed that some employers are sending threatening messages to workers to go to work.
“This will put lives of our members, their families and or their properties at risk. These employers are insensitive to the socio-economic conditions of the workers. They are also ignoring what is happening in the community.
“Clearly, these employers only see workers as a pair of working hands and regard only themselves as humans. We condemn this thinking in the strongest possible terms,” said Oa Mahlatsi.
Cosatu called on employers to desist from what it called “irresponsible actions”.
Oa Mahlatsi said the federation was raising workers’ complaints with employers whose actions had been brought to its attention.
“We further make a call on the provincial government, water and sanitation department as well as the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality to remedy the situation with immediate effect in order to normalise the situation.
“It is completely unacceptable that the situation ended up where it is now and no amount of explanation and or apologies can justify such,” Mahlatsi said.