The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has scooped out millions of hard cash for repayment of retrenched workers in a long-drawn-out liquidation battle.
Almost 500 employees of liquidated ATS Alloy Wheels South Africa stand to get more than R21 million after a protracted dispute over the application for execution of winding up order of the Pretoria’s Babelegi-based alloy wheels manufacturer.
Over R6, 4 million has been disbursed to 489 retrenchees by Numsa- appointed liquidators. Another sum of total dividends amounting to R2, 9 million will be distributed soon and this will be followed by another claim of more than R9 million.
This follows a Johannesburg High Court order which granted the execution of the company’s liquidation application. The controversy around the filing for insolvency in respect of the German Tiwheels’ wholly-owned subsidiary has been clouded by a tug of war between company directors and foreign-based shareholders.
The company earlier claimed that it could no longer procure further financial assistance from the mother company after a wave of industrial labour protest actions in the country last year.
The metalworkers’ giant union was steadfast in opposing the liquidation on grounds that its financial performances presented last year showed it to be in the “state of good health” and that the bankruptcy application, therefore could be related to “some reprehensible motives”.
It is a considerably significant claim indeed in the history of liquidation cases and has helped tremendously in cushioning the negative retrenchment effects of the metalworkers.
This came after the bank claimed more that it was owed more than R88 million and the union legal representatives opposed the inflated claims to ensure that members were able to cash out extra shares in the liquidation processes.
Numsa’s courageous fight for cash-trapped metalworkers was informed by what we saw as deliberate inaction by the company’s management board to predict the oncoming difficulties and adopt remedial measures.
The legal battle had to be extended to ensure that proper judiciary administrations processes in respect of the company liquidation were advanced. Metalworkers emerged victorious although the fight to save company proved a failure.
For more information contact:
Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson