On the Shopfloor: Car seat makers bring heads together

Shop stewards from car seat manufacturers met earlier in November to review developments over the last six months.With six men and 14 women in attendance, one man was heard to ask, “Is this a gender forum?”Thembeka Twane, chairperson of the motor sector chaired the meeting and commented that “while there have been some setbacks, significant gains have also been achieved.Twane said that at ALC wages have been reduced from R30 to R22. The National Office Bearers have been requested to withdraw from the agreement while at the same time giving more resources to organise the unorganised.While workers at Lear Corporation fought off management’s attempt to cut their wages by R5, they had to compromise on a wage freeze for 12 months.But things are looking up at Johnson Control where two full-time shop stewards have been secured and at Aunde in KZN where management has agreed to increase the number of permanent workers from 40% to 80% of the workforce.Sam Tsiane, Numsa motor coordinator, warned meeting participants that their fight was the same the world over.In Germany, Daimler Chrysler, VW and BMW and some component manufacturers have all demanded workers increase their working hours without giving them a wage increase. Vusi Mabho, Numsa regional motor organiser in the Eastern Cape reminded shop stewards that “employers everywhere want to maximise profit” so we “must fight back”.