Dismissals stand: Minister

Date: 13 Jun 2007
Government appears to be unfazed by threats of violence if the decision to dismiss hundreds of health workers is not revoked. Instead the state stood by its decision yesterday to fire the “defiant” workers. It became clear at a media briefing that the hard line stance to sack the essential service workers who took part in the public sector strike would not be reversed. In fact, further contingency measures were being put in place for today in anticipation of what has been termed a “total shutdown of public service”. “Industrial action is not an arena of war but a place where workers register their dissatisfaction peacefully,” said the Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi. She said government acted within the Labour Relations Act as those in the essential service knew that their strike was illegal. The Minister disputed unions’ claim that the essential service definition was not specific, saying there was no ambiguity about who formed part of essential services. Fraser-Moleketi revealed that at least 600 hundred health workers had been issued with dismissal letters by Monday night. By Thabiso Thakali The Citizen 13/06/07