1300 ALSTOM wokers on solidarity strike over retrenchments.

Close to 1300 members of the National Union Of Metalworkers Of South Africa ( NUMSA ) staged a sympathy protest action today at Alstom Head office in Germiston. The protest action was over the Alstom electrical elements manufacturing company intentions to shed about 100 jobs. Alstom workers are on a three weeks strike. The company has since refused to discuss measures to resolve the strike. Workers have vowed to continue the primary strike action until the company withdraws the threat to retrench workers. The union is looking at further extending sympathy action to Eskom, ABB and Siemens. These are companies directly doing business with Alstom.

The company stance to cut employment is not only harmful but also retrogressive and prejudicial to national efforts to create jobs. The fact is that the company has become more and more tinged by arrogance. There is no sufficient explanation to shed jobs. The whole retrenchment exercise is a crude and fragile travesty of the company policies. The most disturbing picture in South Africa is the catastrophic job losses associated with unemployment and poverty crisis. By retrenching workers the company is failing to deal with this blight, which is experienced as social terrorism.

The strike will continue until the issue of job losses is dead and gone. The precariousness of jobs in the company shows that there is no clarity and transparency on critical issues that affect the workers. The company is using aggressiveness to drive strategies and policies. NUMSA remains sharp and clear. The union will emerge victories. Workers remain strong and prepared to win the job battle.

For more information contact Dumisa Ntuli @ 689-1700 or cell 0829737282