Dear Judy

Dear Judy Ngiyanibingelela engosini yenu. Ngingumsebenzi la kwa Metso Isithebe plant. Lapha emsebenzini kunama department awu five ahlukene – inspection melting, machine shop, fettline, moulding. Inkinga yami ukuthi inyunyana yethu iNumsa ayisanelisi ngendlela esebenza ngayo; ekubeni siyikhokhela.Inkampani yathi izoqeda ama supervisor ifake ama charge hand.

Yakwenza lokho e-machine shop, nase moulding, yabenyusela imali, yasala ifettling. Abasebenzi babona ukuthi basale bona ngoba bengenabo osihlalo laba abaxoxa nenkampani (office bearer) bane shop steward elingesiye usihlalo.

Ngicela nisize ningenelele kuloludaba, ngoba nelocal organiser idonsa izinyawo ngaloludaba ekupeni belwazi udaba lokushiyana ngamaholo kwama charge hand, nama supervisor, kanye nokushiyana kwa operator ewodwa embonini.Okhathazekile kwaMetso

Dear 'Okhathazekile'Your organiser, Simon Makhanya, says that he held a meeting with shop stewards and management on July 29 at your company.

At that meeting, management said that they were not in a position to respond. They requested more time to consider Numsa's proposals. He has just approached management to demand that they set a date for the meeting since you have now been waiting too long!

————————————————————————–We have summarized some letters to enable us to put more letters into Numsa NewsConcerned workers from Chamdor, Watloo wrote to say that since their company of 50 workers moved from Krugersdorp three years ago they have not received Numsa News and they were "homesick because we miss your presence"!

They requested to receive them again.They also wanted to know what the skills development levy that was being deducted from their salaries was for and when the auto workers surplus would reach every individual.

Dear comradesNumsa News:We are not happy that you are not receiving Numsa News but glad that you have been missing it! We phoned your local office who said that your shop stewards do attend shop steward meetings and they take the Numsa News back with them to the factory.

Make sure you ask your shop stewards for copies. Unfortunately we cannot send you Numsa News direct. Only if you have more than 150 members can we do this.

On the Auto Workers Surplus (motor surplus): The Fund is paying out the surplus but only these people will get cash in their hands:* if you belonged to the Auto Workers Provident Fund, Motor Industry Provident Fund, Auto Workers Pension Fund (now called Motor Industry Pension Fund) and left the motor industry and received a withdrawal benefit before March 31 2004*

if you left the motor industry, received a withdrawal benefit before March 31 2004 and then got a job later in the motor industry.

If you started working in the motor industry before 2004 and are still working in the motor industry and you belong to the Auto Workers Provident Fund or Motor Industry Provident Fund or Auto Workers Pension Fund (now called Motor Industry Pension Fund), then you will not receive a separate cash payout.

Your share of the surplus will be added to your own Fund and you will receive it when you resign or retire or are retrenched.

Skills development levyEvery company that has a remuneration package of more than R500 000 per year must pay a skills levy of 1% of their wage bill. Each worker pays half of 1% of their wages to their employer.

This money is paid to the sectoral training authority (Seta). In your case, and for most Numsa members, the Seta is the Merseta.The Merseta then takes this money and pays it back as grants to companies like yours.

Your company can get back 70% of what it has paid to the Merseta to train you and your fellow workers.It can use this money to train artisans, to put workers through skills programmes that relate to the work that workers perform at work or to give workers Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET).

Ask your shop steward to find out what training your company has completed and who has been trained. And if they haven’t trained anyone then find out why and demand training to improve your skills! ————————————————————————-

Harry Mashita, a petrol attendant from the Great North wrote to say that he was upset about the way that Numsa had handled their matter. The owner of Sekororo Filling Station was a tenant at Mawasha Service Centre from May 11 2006 to June 21 2008. He passed away owing them R5 182 each.

The arrears were from September 5 2007 to December 21 2007 plus two weeks pay. Although the widow had promised to pay the amount, when the Numsa administrator in Polokwane phones her several times, she "just drops the phone". He also requested more organizers to be employed in the local.

Dear Harry MashitaWe sympathise with you that your employer passed away before he could pay what he owed you but point out that his widow has made payments of R1 500 to each of you.

I understand the garage is now operating under a new employer, Nphosi; however, I would suggest you talk to the widow to compensate you because what she has paid you is just a quarter of what is owed to you.

If the widow is the one who has inherited the property but resists paying you the balance and/or Nphosi denies to take responsibility being the new employer, then you’ll have to talk to your Organiser to assist you in taking the matter to the High Court which he is willing to do.

Your problem is similar to another one also in Limpopo where the garage owner passed on before paying what he owed to his employees. Workers forfeited their benefits and went to the High Court.

The judge recommended the new employer compensated the workers.Regarding the issue of having two organisers in Limpopo, it is difficult because Numsa employs organizers according to the number of members in an area, not the size of the area. There are just a few companies with not many members although it’s a huge province.————————————————————————–

A concerned worker wrote from Schnelleke in UitenhageHe was complaining about the organiser not assisting them in their struggle for a higher wage and that organisers have "made their job a place of rest".

He requested the union to ensure that organisers educate their organisers to pay more interest in their work and improve their service delivery and that when they are appointed it must not be "on friendship but on merit and leadership skills".

He demanded "a change and soon, before we get to lose a lot as the union with a very rich history. It has always been about the service of the workers not about our pockets.

We need to stop this now and forever. Those who are out there to service their pockets and their interest must be dealt with."

Dear concerned workerAccording to your Acting Regional Secretary, Andile Zitho, your problem was settled immediately after you sent this letter.

After the successful strike that took place for the whole month and wage negotiations, Schnellecke SA granted a higher wage increase than other companies in the sector.

It is a one year agreement starting from July 2008 to July 2009. If you are still dissatisfied you are welcome to raise your frustrations. ————————————————————————–

Shop stewards from Transpec, KZN, wrote to say that they believe that their employer is flouting labour laws just like labour minister, Membathisi Mdladlana, had mentioned in the papers.

They said their company was working very long hours Monday to Thursday and on Saturdays and Sundays and it was unfair because other metal companies had reduced their hours to 40 per week.

They said that in 2007, a 40-hour week had been a core demand but it had still not been achieved.

Dear comradesAs you say you are in Chapter Two of the motor agreement which says that your hours of work are 45 hours per week with a maximum of 10 hours for voluntary overtime in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Check that your employer is not making you work beyond these hours.Your organiser, Henry Myende, confirmed that you requested the demarcation committee to inspect your company because you believed that you belonged to the engineering industry. This was done and the committee confirmed that you belong to Motor Chapter Two.

Federal Mogul is also a motor company falling under Chapter 3. They work three shifts and 40 hours per week but this is because they have a plant level agreement that was negotiated before they came into the motor sector.

You are right that the issue of a 40-hour week has been one of the demands for years. However, motor is not a strong sector in Numsa. Numsa and Misa-Samu, the other trade union recognised in the sector, together only represent about half the workforce. Until Numsa represents most motor workers, we will not win this demand.

Your task is to go out there and organise every motor worker that works in and around your company so that at the next negotiations in 2010, a bigger and stronger Numsa can put this demand again and hopefully win it!


Numsa News