NELSON Mandela Bay library and traffic department workers who were on strike for almost a month are back at work.
This comes after the municipality last week was granted an interim order to force the workers to return to work or be held in contempt of court.
The Port Elizabeth Labour Court gave worker unions until November 7 to oppose the order, failing which it would be made final.
The workers were demanding a four-notch pay grade increase, which was promised to them by a task team commissioned by mayor Ben Fihla.
The agreement, however, has yet to be approved by council.
The regional chairman of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union, Xolani Tom, said yesterday the workers had no option but to go back to work.
"The workers went back to work given that the municipality used the financial muscle of the taxpayers’ money to force them to go back.
"We will oppose the interdict. We are busy consulting with our provincial office and engaging with the employer. We are also pursuing and considering other options that we cannot divulge at this stage.
"The workers are very angry, so I am not going to lie to you,” Tom said.
The municipality approached the court after almost a month of chaos as workers went on the rampage, disrupting municipal functions and taking officials and councillors hostage as they demanded the increase.
Tom said: "We will have a meeting with the acting municipal manager [Mpilo Mbambisa] on Thursday.”
Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron confirmed the workers were back at work.