Parliament is facing a new threat of disruption of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday.
About 900 Parliamentary employees affiliated with the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) are withholding their services in protest of not receiving a 13th cheque, among other unmet demands.
Sona usually means all hands on deck at Parliament, with staff conscripted to act as drivers for guests and dignitaries, as ushers and a host of others tasks to ensure the smooth running of the event.
But not this year.
“We’ve been negotiating since 2013,” says Nehawu Western Cape Secretary-General Luthando Nogcinisa. “However, management has reneged on their commitment to address our demands. We’re happy with our salary increases, but not with our perks.
“We’re not calling for a strike or a disruption of Sona. We’re only asking those working overtime because of Sona to withdraw their services.”
Listen to the audio to hear from Nehawu’s Luthando Nogcinisa why talks to resolve this issue in time for Sona have failed.