Union prepares for strike at petrol stations, car factories | Fin24
 
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Union prepares for strike at petrol stations, car factories

Oct 13 2019 12:02

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) plans to launch a strike in the vehicle industry – including at petrol stations, dealerships and vehicle manufacturers - if employers do not give into its demands, which includes a night-shift allowance for petrol station workers. 

In a statement issued on Sunday, Numsa said mediation efforts at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) have broken down and that it has rejected a three-year wage offer by the employers in the sector.

This entailed a wage hike of CPI plus  1.5% for the first year, followed by 5.5% for the second year and 5.5% in the third year for workers at vehicle manufacturers. Employees of component companies, and fuel station workers, would get the same in the second and third year but a fixed 6% in the first year. 

Numsa says this offer does not differ from the employers' opening offer. "They have hardly compromised, whilst we have compromised a lot. Throughout negotiations, they have stubbornly refused to deal with issues relating to working conditions as raised by our members."

Numsa wants transport allowances – or a night shift allowance - for petrol station workers, and a review of the peace clause in a three-year wage agreement. The peace clause prohibits the union from striking during this time.

“We remain open for engagement, however, we want to make it clear that we will only engage if employers radically shift their position. They must demonstrate that they are genuine about improving the lives of all employees in the sector."

Numsa has now requested a meeting with CCMA to finalise picketing rules, as part of the process to get a strike certificate.

Compiled by Helena Wasserman

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