Fin24

Numsa: Seifsa ignoring strikers

2011-07-06 11:28

Johannesburg - No negotiations or talks have taken place between striking engineering workers and their employers since the strike started, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said on Wednesday.

"When our members handed over a memorandum in Johannesburg on Monday, the employers informed marchers that they took our demands seriously and would have a meeting with us the same night," said spokesperson Castro Ngobese.

"To date, there has been no meeting between us and them and this means the strike will continue indefinitely."

The Steel and Engineering Industries' Federation of SA (Seifsa) said it could not afford the 13% wage increase being demanded by the union.Employers in the sector have offered 7%.

The union's Free State regional secretary Andile Zitho said the 13% was a matter of life and death.

He said it was not enough to cushion workers against increases in the costs of food, electricity, education, water, and fuel.

"We are not backing off on our current demand of 13%," said Zitho, who claimed that some senior managers were earning 20 times more than union members.

Several trade unions, representing about 170 000 workers, embarked on a countrywide strike on Monday. The unions were demanding wage increases ranging from between 10% and 13%.

Numsa believed the unconfirmed reports of intimidation and violence reported in newspapers on Wednesday were an attempt by "some elements" to sabotage the strike action.

"Numsa is not a union of hooligans. We have disciplined and organised members," said Ngobese. "We are not going to allow anyone to undermine our organised, united strike."

Seifsa executive director David Carson was not immediately available for comment.

Comments
  • Nongoloza - 2011-07-06 11:38

    Senior managers were earning 20 times more than union members because they are educated and have skills.

      HJS - 2011-07-06 16:48

      And regularly show up for work and put in loooong hours

  • sean - 2011-07-06 12:15

    Disciplined and organised members .... funny that because they've been trying to knock our front gates down the whole week or maybe thats just the fellow from Mr Delivery trying to get in.

  • Ed Bundy - 2011-07-06 12:17

    Numsa is a union of hooligans. We don't have disciplined and organised members. There, I fixed it. From the Eyewitness News story: "Germiston police spokesperson Michelle Venter said several cases of malicious damage to property were opened by business owners in the area."

  • nixcroft - 2011-07-06 12:19

    take a leaf out of ABI (coca cola) book. ignore them and let them lose a months salary. Put these idiotic unions in their place once and for all. 13% increase ? be glad you have a bloody job

  • gcr - 2011-07-06 12:19

    If I was a Seifsa representative I too would not meet with the trade unions until they reeled in the actions of these idiot workers and insisted on all curtailment of destruction to others property. These idiots are breaking into employer factory properties and threatening those workers who want to work. No negotiation until they stop destroying property and learn to negotiate in a civil way

      HJS - 2011-07-06 16:47

      WELL SAID gcr

  • Nick Bertillon - 2011-07-06 12:29

    bull i have seen with my own eye the violence from strikers. i work in the financial sector and we are getting between 3-5%

  • Tiwonge - 2011-07-06 12:29

    Suddenly we have many strikers, where are they when Bafana has been lacking a prolific goal scorer since the retirement of Benni? Why is Mumsa Ignoring strikers, don't they want us to be the best team in the world?

  • R Albert - 2011-07-06 12:39

    The strike is being supported by unreported wide spread intimidation and violence - No Competition law for this kind of collusive and anti competitive behaviour. Many industrialist will be questioning the merits of manufacturing in Africa - Much much easier to simply import. Look no further than the steel industry as a case study as to why 50% of the youth in SA is unemployed - And why the position is compounding. Increasingly SA is heading for mob rule rather than a social democracy.

  • ir8m8 - 2011-07-06 12:40

    Numsa, you guys have not done your homework here. My wife works in the industry (albeit the admin side), they have been given an increase of 4% regardless of the workers industrial action outcome, and have been told that all the company can give without making some people's job redundant. Your action comes at a point where the industry is battling to survive, customers have halted orders, no new local orders have been received for close to 4 months (and they have no competition, the company is the sole producer), foreign orders are the only thing keeping the company a float, however they are now saying that if the action carries on for the proposed 3 weeks, they will reconsider the order. Meaning that the company will have no option but to downsize or close. The other thing that you have not considered is that the barganing council has offered 7%, if you consider the time that you are off work (no work no pay) will account to 5% of the workers annual pay packet, if you subtract that off your 13% demand, you are only gaining 1% more than the offer, why the fuss?

  • de Wet - 2011-07-06 12:45

    "some senior managers were earning 20 times more than union members" May that be because they are 20 time more qualified (diploma's/ degrees ect) if you have Gr 12 how can you expect to earn the same as someone with a degree in the same field?!

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-07-06 12:58

    They should take the 7% increase. It's 7% more than a lot of people get.

  • HJS - 2011-07-06 16:45

    Does Ngobese not watch TV news? CCTV footage clearly total hooliganism in blatant contravention of the document of agreement NUMSA supposedly signed about agreeing to a disciplined strike. Not worth the paper it was typed on. Does Zitho not perhaps wonder why it is that there are people that earn "20 times more" than others? VERY VALID reasons for that dear Zitho.

  • Hangmann - 2011-07-06 18:10

    Hey Castro N, how much more do you earn for causing strife?? If you were doing a real job, I could validate it.

  • Realist - 2011-07-06 20:48

    It is time for management to ride out the strike whether for 6 weeks or 6 months and break the unions strength once and for all. Or offer 7% this week valid for a week to accept then next week offer 6.5% and reducing week by week to cover for lost earnings & production. Plenty of unemployed people would be just too happy to be offered a job in their place.

  • settlerswife - 2011-07-10 17:00

    Isn't it amazing with these Unions.. what ever happens.. it is NEVER their fault.. and their members are bloody hooligans, just watch them in action.. It is about time they got sued for damages etc.. just a pity the ANC is so scared of them...

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