Numsa Comrades Advise Each Other

Dear Numsa News.As a Numsa shopsteward in Eskom Enterprises, I have a very big concern about my company.
My concern is that the workers on the lowest level in company are the less earning workers.And most of them are blacks. And they are the longest serving workers in the company.And secondly they have the skill and the experience of the job.
And the petty salary that they earned through their years of work, has helped their children to be educated to the higher level. But nobody recognises their skill, especially the management. They don’t even bother to upgrade them to earn a better living wage. If they ask for salary increases, the management tells them about education.
How can they bring forward an education while they were reading Bantu education during those years. And the whites received a good quality education. I would like to ask all the comrades to fight this injustice in our company. Because if we don’t start doing this now, then nobody will fight it for us.All I ask for is that we let every human being’s skill be recognised within the company.
I would like to ask our newspaper to forward this message to all our shopstewards to join together in order to get justice in our workplaces.Joseph J. Mgidi.Eskompark, Emalahlani.
Comrade, I believe that you need to utilise your educator to assist yourselves about this problem and in the absence of an educator at your plant you therefore need to initiate a negotiating meeting with the company whereby your local officials will form part of those discussions to resolve the matter.By the way the company needs to recognise those comrades’ skills even if they have to embark on an RPL exercise.
I think this will be the first step to your problem and if there is no breakthrough, you therefore need to follow the proper procedures to deal with the matter and your local officials will guide you towards the processes that need to be followed.MalgasVWSA Shopsteward
Dear ComradesComrade Mgidi raises an important issue which we have not delivered very much as a union. Today’s economies shed jobs thus training is one of the important areas that can be used to cushion workers in the event they are retrenched.
It can be one of the strategies to raise workers’ wages as they attain new skills. In the ’70s the metal industry intake of apprentices was 70 000 per annum but this has been reduced to 17 000 per annum.
Referring the matter to the Education Officers will not solve the problem as most of them are not based at the plant. Shopstewards are best placed to deal with this matter especially utilising shopstewards who are artisans or skilled workers to debate barriers to training and how to get around obstacles companies are putting forward.
I have also observed the following in regard to training:- Few shopstewards engage companies over the amount of budget to be allocated for training on a yearly basis and worst of all they do not know how much money is there. Without a budget there won’t be training.
No monitoring of the budget or expenditure to determine how much has been spent on our members who are at the lowest levels- there are no targets agreed with employers especially around engineering skills- we do not spend much time learning from each other especially in overcoming the barriers which will assist us in engaging companies.
Maybe comrades should provide statistics so that we may assess whether we are making progress or not.Hlokoza Motau, Numsa international officer