Strife-torn tyre industry lock out striking workers

Bridgestone tyre manufacturers in the Port Elizabeth plant and Brits, outside Pretoria have locked out striking workers as divisions among industry bosses emerged.

The strike entered its second day today(Monday) in the midst of divisions within the industry bosses with some expressing willingness to up their offer.

Meanwhile employers at Continental in Port Elizabeth also issued strong warning that they would effect the lock out rule to force workers to accept the 7% management offer.

About 6 000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in six major tyre manufacturing plants including Goodyear in Port Elizabeth and Dunlop factory in Brits North West downed tools last Friday to demand 10% wage increases.

It has emerged in the impromptu meeting in Port Elizabeth that some employers in the New Tyre Manufacturing Industry Association wished to improve their 7% increase while others remained stuck to their original offer.

High on the list of Numsa demands, include disclosure of information in respect of actual wages for hourly and salaried employees, executive perks and their pay increases in the last five years.

This is to ensure transparency on the part of management that engagement on wage talks and other employment conditions is well- informed.

Other union demands, also include the scrapping of the labour brokers in the industry, shift allowance increases of between 20%-15% shift allowances for night and afternoon shifts respectively.

The union also demands that employees whose wages after 2007 increments were effected remained below the applicable level entry rates should receive further increase to bring them on par to the applicable skill level entry rates, according Numsa auto and tyre national sector coordinator Herman Ntlatleng said.

For further information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116

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