More than 400 workers at Nigel’s Union Carriage and Wagon Partnerships plant, which builds train coaches for the most celebrated Gautrain 2010 project, have embarked on strike to protest refusal by management to grant shop stewards time- off for union activities.
Enraged metalworkers formed picket lines outside the company and rendering the production of Gautrain coaches to virtual halt after management locked out striking workers.
This follows a full blown strike by the majority workforce since last Monday after the management rejected demands for recognition of the full- time shop steward and grant other six shop stewards 15 days time- off a year, to conduct union duties in the plant.
The train coaches and wagon manufacturer simply refused to recognize that shop stewards have union meetings and other responsibilities to attend to, and “this is not in line with progressive companies that recognized the workers’ right of association with trade unions,” Shadrack Simelane, Numsa local organizer said.
Mediation talks continued but the conservative management unrelentingly refused to see the reasoning in resolving the issue about full recognition of union shops stewards.
If the strike went on indefinitely as workers were steadfast in their demand, the launch of the Gautrain in the province would be severely affected.
For further information contact:
Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson
Cell phone: 082 9407116