Workers to down tools in demand of a living wage

The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) representing 72 000 workers cheaply exploited in petrol stations, components, automotive retail, panel-beaters, car and spare parts, fitment workshops , truck body and trailer builders and dealerships will be downing tools next week Monday September 02, 2013, in demand of a living wage and improved conditions of employment and service.

The mediation process that was facilitated by an independent mediator on July 19, 2013, failed to resolve the wage impasse between Numsa and the employer bodies – Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) and Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

The first phases of the wage negotiations began on the week of May 28-30, 2013, and the second phase of the negotiations were held June 11-13, 2013. It was during last phase of negotiations that a deadlock was declared by Numsa. The Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) and Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) have rejected all the demands presented by Numsa, as per mandate of our members.

The Union (Numsa) as mandated by its members has taken a conscious decision to exercise our hard fought democratic and constitutional right to embark on an indefinite strike action. The strike action has not been on our agenda, but it has been imposed on us by motor industry ruling oligarchy after failing to concede to our demands. We are fully aware of the pain a strike action cause, since the principle of No Work No Pay will be lifted by the bosses, but the workers are prepared to bite the bullet, since their will achieve more when fighting as a collective and mighty force.

These are our demands; (1) Demand R3.00 p/h increase across the board on actual; (2) Or demand R30 p/h increase on actual rates of pay across the board in all sectors and divisions for all workers earning above R6000-00 pm by 2016; (3) Demand removal of area differentials and Discriminatory clause; (4) Night shift allowance of 20% of normal rate of pay; (5) Afternoon shift allowance of 15 % of normal rate of pay.

Our demands should be located and understood within the context of escalating cost of living and transport, amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality faced by the workers and the poor. The workers are faced with the burden of taking care of the mass army of the unemployed, mostly their unemployed offspring’s and the elderly.

We are prepared to unleash all our power by halting production in all the affected sectors, in order to exert pressure to the bosses for an equal redistribution of wealth at the point of production. Workers are no longer willing to be subjected to starvation and poverty wages. We refuse to allow the bosses to perpetuate apartheid racialised and poverty wages under the current and new dispensation.

A number of marches and demonstrations are planned for next-week in the provinces of Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere. These marches will be forming part of our organizational strategy and tactic to force the employer’s to conceded to our reasonable and achievable demands.


Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 0810111137
Twitter: @castrongobese