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ELM strike finally winds down

At time of going to press for this issue, all indications are that, after nearly two months of often violent and destructive strike action, ELM employees are finally back at work. Whereas it could not be finally ascertained by THG – owing to the fact that it was made very clear to us that we were not welcome to attend any of the various meetings held with various stakeholders - just what the actual terms of the agreement reached between workers and bosses were, it would seem that the workers have had their demands, at least partially, met. Including payment of at least some of their forfeited wages, despite the multiple criminal acts perpetrated by the strikers and the initial hard-line, “no work, no pay” stance adopted by ELM bosses.

THG has, however, been reliably informed that the municipal workers have finally been issued with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – the lack of which was the cause of the strike action in the first place. Of course, that was just the first part of the problem. Once they had the promised equipment, they then wanted their wages – despite having been informed that ELM that the illegal strike would be treated on a “no work, no pay” basis. At this point, the strike action turned violent - with multiple acts of sabotage, vandalism, destruction of property, threats and intimidation reported from all four towns within the ELM area.

Furious ELM residents are, by now, familiar with the problems of interrupted power and water supplies. Problems with sewage, roads blocked with garbage and a municipality which has, for all intents and purposes, been non-functional for weeks. Now that the strike has (hopefully) been finally resolved, the questions on everyone’s lips are: “Who’s going to pay for the damages?”, “Who’s going to compensate us for loss of business?”, and, of course, “Whose incompetence in failing to address the relatively minor issue of staff PPE timeously resulted in such a mountain being made from a molehill?” The most likely answer to those and many other questions will be “no comment” from the powers that be at ELM. In the eyes of residents, recent events are just one more reminder that the “writing is on the wall” for ELM and it is merely a matter of time before the entire crumbling municipal

infrastructure collapses under the weight of its own incompetence and mis-management. It is not “if” but rather “when” will the dreaded words “under administration” become the new reality catchphrase for fed-up ELM residents?

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