Shopfloor: Two sides of the same story!

Two sides of the same story!Jenny Grice

When Envirotech [Weir Minerals] workers in Isando demonstrated and handed over a memorandum to their company in the middle of June, it was out of frustration over different structures that they felt were failing to deal with their burning issues.

The structures consist of employer and employee representatives. “When we raise issues that need to be addressed, the others team up against Numsa and our issues don’t succeed,” says shop steward secretary Condry Letsoalo. Their memorandum covered five issues ranging from accusations of racism and lack of transformation, to problems with training, black economic empowerment [BEE], employment equity and the tender committee.

It urged the company to transform the workforce to reflect the demographics of the country at all levels. The managing director responded in a letter to workers saying that the company was committed to employment equity and transformation. It said that in all skills categories the percentage of previously disadvantaged individuals had increased since 2000. However he admitted that the process was “not an easy or fast process… it depends on availability of posts as well as skills.”

Reminder: apply for that motor surplusIf you were a member of the Auto Workers Pension Fund, Auto Workers Provident Fund or the Motor Industry / MISA Provident Fund call BRS on 086 727 7007 to see if you are eligible for a portion of the surplus in these Funds.

Or register online at or discuss with your shop steward.

Ukukhumbuza: faka isicelo saleyo mali esele ezimotweni Uma uyilungu le- Auto Workers Pension Fund, Auto Workers Provident Fund noma i-Motor Industry / MISA Provident Fund shayela i- BRS ku-

086 727 7007 ukubona ukuthi ingabe ufanelekile yini ukuthola ingxenye yemali esele kulezi Zikhwama. Noma bhalisa ku-inthanethi ku- noma uxoxe negosa lakho.

Sehopotso: etsa kopo ya tjhelete e setseng ya motorHaebe o ne o le setho sa Auto Workers Pension Fund, Auto Workers Provident Fund kapa Motor Industry / MISA Provident Fund letsetsa BRS nomorong ena 086 727 7007 ho bona hore na ha o tshwanelehe ho fumana karolo ya tjhelete e setseng Matloleng ana. Kapa ingodise moleng atereseng ena kapa o buisane le shop steward ya lona.

Onthou: doen aansoek vir daardie surplus in die motorbedryfAs jy “˜n lid was van die Autowerkers Pensioenfonds, Autowerkers Voorsorgfonds of die Motorbedryf / MISA Voorsorgfonds, moet jy BRS by 086 727 7007 skakel om te sien of jy geregtig is aan “˜n deel van die surplusse in hierdie Fondse. Of registreer aanlyn by of bespreek dit met jou vloerbeampte.

Letsoalo disputes his claim. “We base our arguments on actual things that we see. We don’t think those figures are correct. The majority of blacks in the machine shop are from neighbouring countries – we don’t consider this as training our people, it is just importing skills from other countries.”

Workers’ memorandum thanked the company for paying for tuition fees and books for those that wanted to study at tertiary level however Letsoalo explains that their real frustration is that when a job becomes available, often workers have the qualifications but not the experience. “Where can workers go to study ‘experience’? The company must also train people practically so that they can be ready for positions when they arise.”

Even when workers perceived that a certain black manager was suitably qualified and with appropriate experience for the post as an operations manager, he was by-passed in favour of a white man. “It seems to us that there are key positions occupied by whites and that they intend to keep it that way,” Letsoalo says. The issue of a trust for the previously disadvantaged has also caused sparks to fly.

The company plans to put 25% of its shares into a Trust whose beneficiaries will be an orphanage and disabled people. Management accuses workers of not understanding government’s own BEE codes. Workers ask why these shares cannot benefit workers inside the factory, or that shares be advertised or that 25% of blacks be put at top management level.

There is also distrust over the tendering process. Workers feel that the current process encourages the belief that the manager responsible gives jobs to his friends and relatives. It wants a transparent process. As Numsa News went to print, workers had just agreed to the Managing Director’s [MD]proposal to put all these burning issues back to their respective committees for discussion. The committees will report back to the MD on an ongoing basis.

Pension/provident fund surplus briefs Kei Motor and Metal Provident Fund surplus If you were a member of the Kei Motor and Metal Provident Fund, you should contact your nearest Numsa office urgently. This Fund has a surplus in it that it wants to distribute to its former members.

This Fund covered workers at many companies that have now closed down like: Gantech International in Fort Jackson, as well as Autocat and Braun Engineering in Butterworth.

Other companies have moved from this fund into the Metal Industry Fund. If you are one of them, your portion of the surplus from the Kei Fund will be transferred to your Metal Industry Fund. You will not receive the money as cash.

Put your application in as soon as you can. The deadline for applications is September 2006.

Surplus in Kei Motor- en Metaalvoorsorgfonds As jy lid was van die Kei Motor- en Metaalvoorsorgfonds, moet jy jou naaste Numsa-kantoor dringend skakel.

Jy kan “˜n kans staan om “˜n deel van die surplus in die Fonds te ontvang. Maatskappye soos Gantech International in Fort Jackson, asook Autocat en Braun Engineering in Butterworth was lede.

Intsalela kwi-Kei Motor ne-Metal Provident Fund Xa ngaba ube ulilungu le-Kei Motor ne-Metal Provident Fund, kufuneka uqhagamshelane ne-ofisi yeNumsa ekufutshane nawe ngokukhawuleza.

Unokuba sethubeni lokufumana inxenye yentsalela kwiNgxowa-mali. IiNkampani ezinjengeGantech International eFort Jackson kunye ne-Autocat ne-Braun Engineering eGcuwa zazingamalungu.