Engineering workers strike

2011-07-04 07:23

Engineering workers were expected to start a countrywide strike today to press for better wages, a union official said.

“Workers are striking in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, East London and Cape Town,” said National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) spokesperson Castro Ngobese.

Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal workers would hold demonstrations today, while workers in the Free State and Northern Cape would start their work stoppage tomorrow.

Numsa, representing about 120 000 workers, will be joined in the strike by the Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union and the Metal and Electrical Workers Union.

Ngobese said the workers were demanding a 13% salary increase while the employers were offering seven percent.Numsa had also demanded a two-year wage agreement and the banning of labour brokers.

The Steel Engineering Industries Federation of SA, which according to its website was representing 28 employer organisations, was not immediately available for comment.

It posted a notice on www.seifsa.co.za in May this year, saying that the metal industry’s four-year wage and conditions of employment agreement would expire on June 30.

This agreement covered 9 000 companies and about 348 000 workers.

Seifsa said that wage negotiations with six trade unions had started in May.

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