If you are a motor shop steward, find out from motor sector co-ordinator, Sam Tsiane, what should be on your agenda this year.
Last year you negotiated wages only. What happens this year?
We will negotiate wages and conditions of employment.
What will the demands be?
This year we must negotiate the demands that the National Bargaining Conference (NBC) adopted last year. (see box below and core demands on page 47)
What will the process be?
We will mobilise members around those demands. On April 5, we will call a Gauteng motor shop steward council with shop stewards from Northern Transvaal , Western Transvaal and the two Wits regions. We will also have regional meetings in KZN, Cape Town and Bloemfontein There will be a special national shop steward council for those from car dealers sometime in April.
What will be the format of those meetings?
We will have speeches but we will also allow shop stewards to say whatever they want to say.
Will there be follow up at local level?
Thereafter we will have a tight programme for local shop steward councils and workplace meetings. Office bearers must take attendance registers. These must record how many shop stewards attended in the local, and how many companies they represented, and if possible, how many workers they represented. If companies don’t attend, then the local must through the campaign committee or the local office bearers target those specific companies, issue pamphlets and focus on those that were not present. By the end of the negotiations, we should know how many workers we have spoken to directly.
How do you hope to reach workplaces with a few members and no shop stewards?
Locals should group companies into areas so that each area has a committee member who must attend the shop steward council and report back to those companies.
When will normal wage negotiations start?
May will be pre-bargaining. We will try and narrow down and clarify the issues before we go to negotiations. Employers could even say to us, ‘these are the obstacles’, and we could say to them, ‘for us not to go on strike, these are the key issues’. Somewhere in May, Cape Town forecourt attendants must lead the march to SA Petroleum Employers Association or the head offices of oil companies. We will be demanding night shift allowance for forecourt attendants, safety at petrol stations, no deductions for petrol shortages.
There are many demands. Do you want shop stewards to ask members to identify their priorities?
Yes, if we want to gazette the agreement before the current agreement expires, we must finish negotiating by the end of June, July. They should ask them what they want finalised now and what we can process further.
What about recruitment?
We are in the process of tightening our systems because at present membership forms are lost in the local, region as well as at the Bargaining Council but nobody is held responsible. Our target is 20 000 new members this year. It is achievable if each local processes 40 membership applications each week.
Motor demands adopted at NBC, April 2003
Wages – CPI-X + improvement factor; no employee to earn less than R10 per hour.
Eliminate area differentials in 2004.
Protection of workers in forecourts including safe transport after 20h00.
Maternity leave – no limit on number of pregnancies and interval period
Four weeks paid leave for worker with 12 months service
Allowance – 20% night shift allowance and 15% afternoon shift
Reduce hours of work from 45 to 40 and to 60 hours for security guards with hourly rate of pay
No employee shall be required to pay for damages or any loss – instead disciplinary codes and procedures will apply.
Automed – exceptions should be made to those who cannot afford.
Agreement must be backdated to date of expiry of old agreement.
Time off for shop stewards for union meetings and training.
Every non-member must pay an agency shop fee of R20 per month.
Remove discriminatory clauses.