“It is better to suffer now so tomorrow you know you will never suffer again.”
These were the encouraging words that Numsa president, Mtutuzeli Tom, gave to Gauteng motor workers on July 20 when they marched to the offices of the Fuel Retailers Association and the Retail Motor Industry.
Giving motor employers the memorandum, Tom told them that their industry was still living the life of the old apartheid system because they had refused to offer any wage increase at all.
Wits Central West chairperson, Philemon Shiburi, told marching workers that it was time that motor employers “shared their profits with them. They buy food and then resell it in their shops at petrol stations for much more,” he said to cries of “BUA” from angry workers.
Even in the small Northern Cape region, about 150 motor workers in Kimberley marched to the local offices of the Retail Motor Industry showing them how they felt about the offer.
Since then employers have moved. As Numsa News went to print, regions were discussing whether to accept the employer’s final offer and the National Executive Committee was to meet to hear the regions’ views.
The latest offer from employers is:
a three year agreement
an increase of 7,5% on minimum rates of pay for this year
in the second and third years of the agreement, workers will get CPIX plus 2% on minimum rates
those above the minimum rates of pay will get the money increase that those on the minimum rates will receive (except for Sector 6 – the car dealers – only those on minimum rates will receive increases.)
The Area B increase will be the same money increase as with Area A so it will be a higher percentage increase.
The employer’s organisation will encourage its members to backdate the agreement to September 1 and will try and get the Minister of Labour to gazette it quickly.
Parties will continue to talk about the agency shop.
The fuel retailers, trade unions and government will work together to see how to restructure the petrol price determination.