Cold stalls strike in Willowton

2011-07-06 00:00

THE chilly weather kept most of the striking workers affiliated with the National Union for Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) at home in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The Willowton industrial area, which was a hub of activity on Monday as the strikers marched up and down Willowton Road, was deserted as very few workers showed up to demonstrate outside their companies’ gates.

Among the companies affected by the strike on Monday it was only a small group of Allan Brothers workers who stood outside their gate demonstrating in the morning. By midday there was not a worker in sight.

Mmeli Duma, a strike co-ordinator in Willowton Road, said it was probably the chilly weather that kept most of the workers away from demonstrations.

“This does not mean that we have gone back to work.”

He said that while Willowton was quiet, in other industrial areas such as Mkondeni the workers were out in force.

Duma said the strike will continue until their demands have been met. “We are also preparing for a massive march in the KZN region next week, which forms part of the strike.”

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) said that although it is clear that not all the Numsa membership has observed the call to strike, a number of companies in the industry are reporting worker participation in the strike.

Angelique Morton of Seifsa communication services said reports received by the federation indicate that the larger employers in the industry have been targeted, with some member companies reporting almost total absences from the workplace.

Medium to smaller companies are reporting varying degrees of worker participation.

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