NUMSA rejects claims violence

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africans (Numsa) condemns the spurious accusations being made by employers that our striking members are involved in acts of intimidation and vandalism.
We do not take these unsubstantiated accusations lightly. They are just part of a cheap ploy by the employers to undermine the integrity of our struggle for a Living Wage and improved conditions of employment.
No amount of false propaganda and slanderous accusations by the employers will undermine our strike. Our members remain firm and resolute on their demands for a Living Wage, as opposed to the colonial apartheid poverty wages that employers want to retain and reproduce in the industry.
We reject with contempt the proposed militarization of industrial action by SEIFSA calling on the police to act on our striking members. The solution to the strike does not reside with the repressive organs of the State – particularly the police. SEIFSA should not open unhealed wounds. Workers have not forgotten their comrades were slaughtered in Marikana by the police.
We call on SEIFSA to return to the bargaining table with a concrete settlement offer in order to resolve the strike.
Since the commencement of the strike, our members have exercised high levels of discipline and maturity in line with the union’s Disciplinary Code of Conduct. The union’s Strike Committee (SC) is satisfied with the overall discipline and performance of our striking members. No evidence has been provided to us to show that our members have acted outside the ambit of the Law, or the picketing rules. In the absence of credible evidence, the union can’t invoke its disciplinary code which deals with acts outside the code of conduct.
We are incensed by the statement issued by Solidarity which collaborates with the employers and calls on the police to act on our members. We call on Solidarity to join the strike so that we fight together for decent wages for workers in the industry. The time has arrived for workers to unite beyond the logos or the t-shirt colours of their respective unions, and confront the exploiting capitalist class that continues to subject the members of all our unions into a permanent recession, amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Our demands remain unchanged – we demand a 1 year bargaining agreement; 15% wage increase across the board; AND scrapping of Labour Brokers. As long as employers are not conceding these reasonable demands, the strike continues indefinitely.
Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 0836275197