The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is on strike at Toyota. The management team at Toyota stubbornly refuse to engage with our just demands. As a result, our members have been forced to withdraw their labour.
Toyota is an untransformed company which routinely fails BBBEE compliance targets. They also repeatedly fail to meet their own Employment Equity targets. This is because there is no political will from the management team to genuinely address these issues. They also steadfastly refuse to procure from black service providers. They keep claiming that Black people have no experience, but we reject this explanation. This is simply an excuse used by many in the South African corporate space to justify racism and a lack of genuine transformation. They have not taken any practical steps to open up the space so that black companies can participate fairly in the procurement process.
Below are some of the reasons we are on strike:
- We demand the establishment of a Transformation Committee which will oversee and participate the recruitment and procurement process. Toyota keeps failing to meet transformation targets and needs NUMSA to oversee the process.
- We demand that the independence of the chairperson in Disciplinary processes must be upheld! Whenever there is a disciplinary process, the chairperson is forced to consult the IR manager, before he/she can issue his findings. We reject this practice. The management of Toyota are tampering with the disciplinary process in order to manipulate the outcome. As unions we are not even allowed to participate in that consultation process, and as a result the outcome is manipulated in favour of management. We demand that the chairperson must be allowed to fulfil his/her duties without any interference from any external party.
All workers who received loans last year to deal with floods which took place in KZN, should have their loans converted to donations. This was the case with some workers. We demand that this practice should be extended to all workers.
- We demand that when recruiting workers, Toyota must hire 70% contract workers which is a combination of ex temps and database, and 30% through learnerships. Currently they are hiring 100% through learnerships.
- We demand that all workers be able to access free medical consultation which is offered by the in-house medical staff, whether they are on medical aid or not.
- We demand that the bonus system payment must be changed. If targets are met, then the amount must be divided equally amongst all workers.
- We demand that all apprentices be given transport allowance, which was the practice in the past.
- We demand quality work wear, which is SABS approved. Also, we demand work wear which is made specifically for women. Currently, female workers at Toyota have to wear men’s clothing which is not practical.
The strike which began today will affect all Toyota plants nationally. Our members are resolute and disciplined. They will not back down until all their demands are met!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Mbuso Ngubane
NUMSA Regional Secretary KZN
For more information, please contact:
NUMSA National spokesperson