Sentech workers on strike over anomalies

Workers at Port Elizabeth company Sentech went on strike over the company’s failure to finalise an agreement to address the anomalies in the company where workers are paid differently for doing the same job.

Numsa believes that this practice goes back to management’s attempts to divide workers. It rewarded those who kept away from the union with higher wages.

As Numsa News went to print, it was threatening to call a secondary strike in companies that Sentech supplies to, both in the Eastern Cape as well as KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town.

Victory for Vae Perway workers

More than 100 workers at Vae Perway in Bloemfontein and Kimberley have won a 6,5% wage increase on top of their annual 6,5% wage increase after a protected strike. In May management granted less than 20 artisans a 6,5% wage increase but refused to extend the increase to the rest of the workforce.

The Union then declared a dispute. After failing to resolve the dispute, workers went on a legal strike. The company finally acceded to the Union’s demand and backdated the increase to May 1. Workers also received a further 6,5% increase in terms of the engineering main agreement from 1 July 2006.

Shakespeare Shopfitters down tools

Almost 100 workers at this Pretoria company are on legal strike over their management’s refusal to comply with the engineering main agreement. Although the minimum rate set down in the engineering agreement is R16 per hour, workers on the lowest grade are being paid R6 per hour.

Workers also complain their company does not comply with health and safety requirements. Despite being visited by inspectors from both the engineering bargaining council and the labour department nothing had improved.

Bosch employees ripped off their third week leave bonus.

Bosch employees had to spend December 2005 holidays with pain and sorrow after they were not paid what was due to them. According to the agreement reached between the motor employers and Numsa on September 7 2004, from September 2005, all employees in chapter III would receive three weeks bonus pay in December instead of two weeks.

Bosch shop steward, Louis Makata, says all component manufacturing companies except Bosch have complied with this agreement. Numsa has now referred the matter to arbitration.

Makata is worried that “other employers belonging to the motor employer organisation, RMI, might do the same to their workers.”

Meanwhile Bosch workers have agreed on a programme of action to put pressure on their employer.

New auto rates – effective from July 1 2006

Across the board increase of 5.1%.

Skill level

2006/7 Entry rate

2006/7 Qualifying rate