Wage strike hits auto industry

2013-08-19 15:21

About 31?000 Numsa-aligned workers in the automotive manufacturing industry went on strike today after pay talks deadlocked last month.

“Workers in the industry demand a 14% across-the-board wage increase and 100% payment if the employer instituted a short-term or temporary lay-off,” said National Union of Metalworkers of SA chief negotiator Alex Mashilo.

Mashilo said the short-term or temporary lay-off applied when logistical problems in the supply of components occurred and workers were given notice to go home.

During this time they did not receive any salary until the components reached the plant and they were called back to work, he said.

“Workers are tired of being sent home when the logistical system breaks down and not receiving salaries. These workers have no other employer and so they must be paid while companies have put them on short-term or temporary lay-off,” said Mashilo.

“It is not their fault that the supply of parts is not reaching the plants as they should.”

The workers were also demanding a R750 housing subsidy and R125 transport allowance per week.

Marathon negotiations to avert the strike started in May and continued to July. However, they failed to bring the two sides to an agreement. Since July, further talks were held, until last Monday, but these also failed to break the stalemate.

“We still remain open to the resolution of the issues that the workers have put forward to the employer. There is room for the employer to approach us regardless of the strike if we are contacted at any instance, but until then the strike will go ahead.”

He said workers would welcome any innovation the employer brought forward to resolve the strike.

Automotive Manufacturers Employers’ Organisation chairman Thapelo Molapo said the employer and the union had been able to narrow down their differences from when the negotiations started in May.

“Unfortunately we have exhausted the formal negotiations process but [this] does not mean negotiations do not have to continue until a solution is found,” Molapo said.

The solution was not going to come out of a strike but through negotiations, he said.

The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said it fully supported Numsa’s demands.

“The time to deliver to the working class is now. It is now or never. The working poor cannot wait any longer” Num general secretary Frans Baleni said.

Automotive companies affected by the strike were BMW, Nissan, Mercedes, Volkswagen, General Motors, Toyota, UD Trucks, and MAN Truck and Bus.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.