Numsa is one of the biggest unions in the metal industry.
When Numsa was launched in 1987, its membership was 280 000. But then membership started to decline through retrenchments and early retirements.
One of Numsa’s strategies was to improve the metal workers’ working conditions in the industry to free workers from economic exploitation.
Since then more workers have come to our union office to join Numsa simply because of our good strategies. Even those who are not covered by our scope.
Some workers when you explain to them about our scope they feel uncomfortable. They say, “If we are not covered by Numsa’s scope therefore we will remain unorganised because Numsa is the only union with good policies.”
While the industry is trying to absorb new workers from schools, tertiary institutions with degrees and diplomas it challenges Numsa to make sure that we preach the Numsa gospel to these new workers because they see themselves as higher than those workers in the industry without any diplomas.
But knowing how to deal with the labour issues like workplace restructuring, defending workers on unfair dismissals.
By concentrating on recruiting these new workers we will reclaim our position and arrest the membership decline.
When Numsa President, Mtutuzeli Tom addressed one of our Ekurhuleni regional congresses he said that Numsa members must make a noise in the taxis, in the communities and at the bus stops about Numsa strategies.
Today new workers are flocking to our offices to join Numsa but in other areas it is still difficult to convince these new workers to join the union. The challenge ahead for the soldiers of peace (shop stewards) and the foot soldiers (officials) is to ensure that Numsa targets this issue.
Comrades, let’s keep Numsa alive to reclaim our position emanating from 1987.