Engineering strike continues

2011-07-05 07:06

An engineering workers strike for better wages supported by several trade unions was set to continue today, the National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa) said.

Spokesperson Castro Ngobese confirmed that the strike would continue. He said a march would take place at Welkom in the Free State, starting in Constantia Road at 10am.

At the weekend, Numsa announced that its members would embark on rolling mass action in demand of a 13% salary increase. Employers in the sector were offering 7%.

The strike started yesterday after the Labour Court’s weekend dismissal of an application for an interdict to stop the strike, brought by the Plastic Converters’ Association.

Several trade unions, representing about 170 000 workers, embarked on the countrywide strike, with a protest march in Johannesburg.

Striking workers handed a memorandum to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA.

Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal workers also held demonstrations, while workers in the Free State and Northern Cape were scheduled to start their work stoppage today.

Workers would strike “until employers come back to us with something to put on the table”, Ngobese said.

Numsa, which represents about 120 000 workers, would be joined by five other trade unions, jointly representing at least another 50 000 workers.

United Association of SA senior manager Johan van Niekerk said Uasa and the SA Equity Workers’ Association would also participate.

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