Numsa says strike will continue

2013-09-13 00:00

THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) march yesterday in the Durban city centre got off to a tardy start yesterday when only a handful of union members arrived at the designated time.

When they finally took off three hours later, it was a very vocal group of about a thousand protesters who took to the streets, decked out in their signature red T-shirts, demanding amongst other things a skills-based grading system and a 40-hour work week.

The strike has entered its fifth day, with workers demanding a double digit wage increase. They demanded a R30 per hour pay increase across the board in all sectors for workers earning more than R6 000, a night shift allowance of 20% of the normal rate of pay and an afternoon shift allowance of 15%.

Employers have offered 9,5%.

Numsa members in other cities held similar marches.

Explaining the reasons behind the late start of the march, union regional secretary Mbuso Ngubane explained they had to wait for their members who came from all over KwaZulu-Natal.

Ngubane said the union met with the employers on Wednesday night and yesterday, but could not reach an agreement.

Negotiations that began at the end of May, deadlocked in July, said Ngubane adding the strike by petrol attendants and car repair workers affiliated to Numsa will continue until the union’s demands are met. “For petrol attendants employers wants to give us 7,5% but we cannot take it,” he said.

At various petrol stations, casual workers and station managers helped customers fill their vehicles.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vinvent Mdunge said no incidents were reported, adding that the march was peaceful.

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