On the Shopfloor: Never give up!

Workers donate
Workers at Wispeco Aluminium in Alberton raised R4000 with the company matching their R4000 for the Kathorus Child and Family organisation in Thokoza.
Numsa serves all
George Nkosi, a visibly impaired Numsa member at Eskom (with dark glasses) holding his Braille copy of the Numsa constitution that Numsa produced on his request.

Cape Gate interdicts striking workers

Mziwakhe HlanganiThe Johannesburg Labour Court has interdicted 2 000 Numsa members on legal strike at Vereening factory Cape Gate.According to Numsa’s national legal officer, Kwena Mathatho, management had secretly implemented wage increases ranging from 5% to 10% on top of the normal annual increase to a group of artisans saying they wanted to ‘retain scarce skills’. “Other categories including the majority of black general workers were denied these special increases because they were said to be unskilled and uneducated,” he said. Workers opted to go on strike after the Bargaining Council had ruled in favour of Numsa and rejected the special wage increases as unregulated in terms of the Main Agreement, he explained.STOP PRESS: Numsa loses court interdict. Court orders workers to go back to work.Numsa Western Transvaal regional secretary, Simon Tladi, has shown that it’s never too late to fight for a worker’s rights.In September 1995, Iscor worker, Chris Britz was fired for being off sick for four days. Despite his daughter phoning his foreman to report that he had an asthma attack and producing a sick note when he returned to work, his employer fired him.Britz’ organiser was late in referring the matter to the then engineering industrial council. The union had to apply for condonation from the department of labour. Once approved, it then went back to the industrial council, and Tladi, the then regional legal officer, referred the case to the then Industrial Court in Pretoria.However, with the passage of the new Labour Relations Act, the Industrial Court was closed down before Britz’ case could be heard.And when the Court sent Britz’ papers to the new CCMA, the papers got lost on the way there.There followed many letters to the CCMA without success. Late last year, Tladi visited the office of the director of the CCMA to put Britz’ case. The CCMA agreed to open a new file on seeing copies of all the documents which Tladi had kept at home for ten years. The matter was set down for arbitration on September 1 2005. The company asked for postponement but then agreed to pay Britz the sum of R27 000 which is equivalent to 12 month’s salary.