Numsa and Goodyear at loggerheads over labour broker.

DATE: 02 March 2005

Johannesburg Press release – for immediate release


The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has declared a dispute against Tyre making Goodyear S.A base in Uitenhage. The dispute relates to the company unilaterally employing 200 workers under the labour broker. The labour broker has undermined the collective agreement in the Tyre industry and refuse to pay provident fund and medical Aid. Labour brokering promotes a triangular employment relationship with no assurance for work. Stubbornly, the company has increased the shift patterns without prior consultation with the union. The company is currently somersaulting and refuses to resolve the dispute. The union has now started to mobilize 900 workers for a strike action this month. We remain with no other alternative but to revoke provisions in the agreement that deal with strike action.

Like sea water, the dispute has its ebbs and flows. We have to take very tough action against firms that undermine workers rights and shift the goal posts. The issues under dispute have dragged for too long since May 2004. Workers patience is now running to an end. We have fought very hard over the years to set standards and regulations in the industry and we would like to maintain if not better. We therefore cannot tolerate non-standard form of employment. It is logical that we take the required steps to counter the consequences of labour brokering as a union. We have to move fast to end the distortions of the labour market system. Labour brokering has been wrong in many respect because it “contract out” workers of the employment relationship. It gives labour brokers certain privileges to pursue objectives that undermine protection of workers.

NUMSA has always been opposed to labour brokers who are employers in their own right. Labour brokering does not in all instances result to work efficiency and better service. They are not constrained by any means to contribute to some form of medical, unemployment and retirement cover. This is not in line with the social objectives of the country, where workers are encouraged to save and contribute to the social security network. Given prevailing economic realities, labour brokers turn to compromise the health and future of workers. Labour brokers do not want the contracted workers to join the union and workers do not qualify for social benefits.

(For further information please contact Dumisa Ntuli -@ (011) 689 1700 or 0829737282)