Workers shutdown Department of Health building
Pretoria - The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association this morning shut down proceedings at the Department of Health building in Pretoria.
The aggrieved workers said Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and his management executives failed to take steps to make the big green-glass exterior building compliant with the occupants' health and safety standards.
The workers have downed tools for weeks since the beginning of the year saying the building was unhealthy to work inside.
They said the building's functional aircons were not enough for both the east and south towers.
They said the ceiling was dilapidated and some lifts needed fixing, while "dusty" carpets made workers ill.
This morning they rolled down the butler door at the main entrance on Thabo Sehume Street and closed two other side entrances.
However, the police came and re-opened the side entrances.
The workers have been demonstrating at the locked main entrance alongside Nehawu leadership from the national office.
The union's acting chairperson at the department of health branch, Khezikazi Nkabinde, said: "The workers are tired of empty promises from the minister and the department of public works. The staff were supposed to leave work at 1pm to make space for experts to make repairs but in the last three months, nothing was done, despite an agreement with management and Motsoaledi."
Some of the staff started taking pictures and videos of those who were protesting and said maybe this shutdown would send a strong message to Motsoaledi and his management colleagues.