In this issue we focus on collective bargaining, a process of utmost importance for Numsa. This year the union is bargaining in the motor, auto and tyre sectors and companies where there are house agreements. We are confident that workers will emerge from the national bargaining conference more united and better prepared to confront the challenges faced by the working class and the poor.

We also look at another hot issue – the National Development Plan (NDP). We explain why we believe that there are misconceptions about Numsa’s position on the NDP.

On a less positive note, we also look at how the hearings of the National Electricity Regulator left a bitter taste in the mouths of those hoping for a much smaller increase in electricity tariffs. Although we did not get a percentage we were hoping for, we still believe that the Nersa campaign was a success.

Also outlined in this newsletter is a roadmap to the motor bargaining process. In addition, we have included short pieces from shop stewards detailing the preparations for negotiations. These will be dealt with properly during the April national bargaining conference.

We also discuss or view of rape and other violence against women and children, including murder we say the rape and murder of women and children is not “domestic” – it is a violent crime against women and children and it should be labelled as such.

We are delighted to announce that members in the engineering and metal industries have scored another victory on the pension’s front. The contribution to pensions will increase from 13.2% to 18%, meaning a salary replacement value of at least 70% of members’ last wage before retirement.

On international issues, we report about the economic crisis engulfing Zimbabwe in combination with repressive laws that continue to cause problems for workers in the collective bargaining arena. Most employers in that country are refusing to grant yearly increases or abide by wage settlements. In some instances, employers have not granted increases in the past two years.

To provide a quality service to our members, we have created a page where we deal with members’ complaints and dissatisfaction.

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This page is open to all members and is designed to give them the opportunity to have complaints and grievances dealt with consistently.
We also take a look at how we can assist members in dealing with legal issues in the workplace and their personal lives.

Finally, we look at various activities Numsa has engaged in recent months.

Happy reading!