Labour action may cripple city zoo

Zoo workers threatening to strike. Photo: Google images

The Pretoria zoo may be hit by industrial action if employees down tools demanding more pay for working extra hours.

Zoo spokesperson Craig Allenby said they had been served with a notice in terms of the labour relations act by the national trade union congress on Thursday.

“The notice indicates that the members of the union intend demonstrating and picketing after the expiry of the 48-hour notice period.

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“The unresolved dispute is about an agreement signed in 2009 on the implementation of a seven day workweek,” he said.

Allenby said the union demanded the 2009 agreement to be cancelled and that employees be paid overtime for work performed during weekends.

Zoo managing director, Dr Clifford Nxomani, said it was impractical and financially unfeasible to meet the demands of the union, as the zoo was a seven operation.

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“We have on several occasions engaged with the employees in an attempt to resolve the matter.

“The national zoo would like to reassure the members of the public that it has a contingency plan in place to ensure both the welfare of the animals and the safety of the visitors should the union continue with its actions, “ Nxomani said.

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Eliot Mahlase

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