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A high-powered executive management team from the Department of Employment and Labour has been dispatched to meet with unions, following disturbances and incidents of unprotected industrial action in Mpumalanga.

In a statement, the department said the industrial action had seriously impacted the rendering of services by the department and its entities.

“A meeting has been set for Friday between the department and National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union and Public Service Association in Mbombela,” reads the statement.

The meeting is a sequel to disturbances at the provincial office following allegations made by the unions against the department’s provincial head.

Department Director-General Thobile Lamati condemned the strike action, which has seen citizens denied much-needed services. He said while the right to strike or protest is available to everyone who is aggrieved, there is never justification for the exercise of that right to impede citizens from receiving services they deserve.

“The right to strike or protest should be conducted within the ambit of the existing laws, prescripts and policies. It cannot be that in the process, this right is exercised at the expense of clients. It is also not acceptable to threaten staff members because there is a disagreement,” said Lamati.

He committed to a have all the allegations that have been levelled at the regional office investigated and follow the recommendations thereof.

“Allegations need to be tested and wherever the investigations lead, the department will act accordingly,” the DG said.

SAnews.gov.za

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