Dispute looming at Iscor

Recent talks between Numsa and Iscor failed to resolve the deadlock over collective bargaining issues referred to working groups after last year’s negotiations. Numsa says that in terms of agreement reached last year, parties must resolve the outstanding issues (see below) by the end of February. Iscor says that the date agreed on was the end of June.

These are the outstanding issues:

outsourcing of services i.e. security and transport without an agreement with the unions
restructuring process must not lead to job losses and eroding of wage benefits
a new strategy for debt re-organisation and consolidation
unaffordable and rising medical aid costs
collective wage agreement to last for two years.

Nissan workers take early retirement

Dumisa Ntuli

315 workers at Pretoria-based motor assembly plant, Nissan, have applied for early retirement as part of Nissan’s plan to rejuvenate the workforce. Numsa agreed as long as those workers retiring would be replaced and not retrenched. Already the company has started to recruit new workers for training. The union is concerned that Nissan is using the rejuvenation exercise as a stick to scale down workers. In 2002 alone, the company retrenched 468 workers as part of its rejuvenation strategy. The union is highly disappointed that Nissan has failed to create sustainable jobs in line with the Motor Industry Development Programme. Meanwhile, some of those that lost their jobs in 2002 have been put through further training. Using money from the Auto Work Security Fund, workers have been trained in entrepeneurial skills, painting, brickmaking and other skills. This photograph shows workers who had just received certificates for entrepeneurial skills.

Powertech on strike

Dumisa Ntuli

About 250 workers working at ABB Powertech Transformers have been on protected strike since February 17. They are refusing to be transferred to the labour broker citing lack of benefits and downgrading of labour conditions.