22 November 2012
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has reached a settlement agreement with Goodyear, after workers went on strike demanding a Relief Allowance.
The workers went a protected strike on 23 October 2012, after the company infuriated workers by unilaterally taking a decision not to remunerate workers in the form of a Relief Allowance when placed on staggered break.
The Relief Allowance is paid when workers take their breaks at different times in order for production not to stop. The allowance is to compensate workers for the same.
The payment is calculated using a formula that was developed in 1994 and it is dependent on a worker’s rate of pay. The amount equates to 25% of a worker’s weekly/monthly wage.
During the past weekend a series of engagements took place with Goodyear management in order to solicit a settlement offer to end the strike action.
The engagements were tense and characterised by apartheid era arrogance and stubbornness to concede to workers legitimate demands amidst worsening socio-economic crisis of poverty and escalating cost of living in our country.
We are pleased that these engagements have borne fruit and we have finally reached a settlement agreement informed by unity in action and successfully pushed Goodyear to give workers the Relief Allowance as demanded by us.
This strike has been a lucid test to the strength and power of the union amidst fierce onslaught by capitalist bosses to undermine workers’ right to bargain and defending their hard won right to strike.
Through our action, we have scored a major victory for the workers. All the workers previously not paid their Relief Allowance between June 2012 and October 2012, will be back-paid immediately.
This is going to be a good Xmas present to this under-paid and exploited workers!
Our long strike has been a great success, despite stinking denials by Goodyear claiming that production has not been affected.
The Goodyear ruling oligarchy felt the impact of the strike, even though they unsuccessfully coerced our members to
return to work.
Already the acceptance of the settlement offer has been communicated to the employer and our members started reporting for duty as from this morning.
Castro Ngobese, National Spokesperson – +2783 627 5197