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Car workers to take to the streets

Sep 02 2013 17:57

Johannesburg - Striking automobile workers will march to Naamsa's offices in Pretoria on Tuesday, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said.

The "march of 11 000 workers, cheaply-exploited and underpaid in the automobile sector in Pretoria" would be led by Numsa national treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo, the union's spokesperson Castro Ngobese said on Monday.

They would hand over a memorandum of demands to the Automobile Manufacturers Employers' Organisation, Ngobese said.

The marchers would converge at the old Putco depot in Potgieter Street at 09:00.

"The march forms part of our organisational strategy and [is] a tactical tool to force the golden boys and girls of class exploitation in the auto sector to concede to workers' demands," said Ngobese.

The strike in the automobile sector has entered its third week. Employers have offered a 10% increase, which the union has rejected.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said in a statement on Monday that one of the negative consequences of the strike was that it undermined South Africa's status as a reliable supplier to international export markets.

The association warned that this could negatively affect future export contracts.

"Unless the strike action was settled in the next few days, the damage to future prospects and on foreign investment sentiment could be far-reaching and take years to re-address," said Naamsa.

Seven major vehicle manufacturing plants have been affected by the strike, namely BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

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