THE South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) is meeting with its members to discuss the possibility of a nationwide strike later this week.
The pending mass action follows a decision by the employer, the SA Local Government Association (Salga), to appeal against a court decision over the Wage Curve agreement which was awarded in Samwu's favour.
Samwu national spokesman Tahir Sema said the Wage Curve agreement was secured three years ago in an attempt to pave the way for a proper wage structure within municipalities.
This meant jobs and salaries would be regraded. Sema said it would ensure that workers who were underpaid would receive the correct salaries, backdated to September 2009.
"We had an agreement three years ago and Salga refused to implement the agreement. We then went to court to force them to implement the agreement and the court ruled in our favour.
"Salga is still refusing to implement the agreement," Sema said.
He said Salga's decision to appeal against the court decision displayed the employer's arrogance.
"This kind of behaviour by the employer body is a waste of rate- payers' money, as legal processes such as these cost millions of rands.
"It is clear that the employer body knows very well that it would not win this issue in court but seeks instead to delay the process unnecessarily, which could easily lead to instability in the sector," he said.
Salga's chief of operations, Lance Joel, said the body was merely exercising its legal rights by appealing against the court ruling.
"They [Samwu] can go on strike, but they cannot stop us from exploring our legal options.
"There are merits as to why we are appealing against the order and we will go ahead with it," Joel said.
Sema said Samwu was consulting with its members nationally to discuss whether or not the strike action would last a day or if it would be indefinite.
"The North West and Limpopo provinces have finished with their consultations and they have decided to strike.
"Salga has since called on the union in Limpopo to discuss the grievances. We can only hope Salga would call a similar meeting on a national level.
"My estimation is that the strike action could take place later this week," he said.