While the country’s tax regulator has geared up for a busy tax filing season, workers around the county have downed tools in protest. This comes as SARS kicked off their tax season just last week.
Workers from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) will be resuming the indefinite strike that they first embarked on earlier this year.
The revenue service says union leadership rejected their offer of availing R70 million for baseline increases for bargaining unit employees. They say union demands of CPI plus 7% are unaffordable. This is because the SARS budget is determined by the National Treasury.
SARS has said that they respect the worker’s constitutional right to protest but the “no work, no pay” rule will apply for the duration of the strike.
They add that they remain empathetic to financial challenges caused by inflation and the increasing cost of food, fuel prices as well as other essential services.
The Public Servants Association says the current offer by SARS is equal to a declaration of war by the employer.
Union’s General Manager Reuben Maleka says are offended by the offer proposed by SARS. They explain that in the current economic climate, they cannot accept anything less than inflation.
THE ONLY AVAILABLE WEAPON THAT WE HAVE TODAY IS TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE A TOTAL SHUTDOWN OF SARS SERVICES SO THAT THEY CAN COLLECT NOTHING AND IF THEY’VE GOT NOTHING TO COLLECT THEN THEY WON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO GIVE OTHER FAILING STATE ORGANS.
Maleka adds that SARS workers worked hard as the revenue service collected R30 billion more in tax. However, they are being offered a below-inflation increase that could result in them not being able to go to work.