9 demands Numsa is making

Members of Numsa march for better wages in Cape Town. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)
Members of Numsa march for better wages in Cape Town. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)
Cape Town - About 220 000 members affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa are on a national strike for better working conditions. Here are their demands as outlined in a memorandum that was submitted to employers.

Duration and cycle of agreement

- The period of operation of this agreement must be one year.


- Increase of 12% effective from July 1 2014 to 2015. To be duly backdated for whatever reasons of delay.

Labour brokers

- A total ban of labour brokers.

Short time

- Short time must not affect workers’ shifts in relation to leave enhancement.
- After 6 weeks of short time, there must be negotiations on short time and the employer must be forced to provide training through MERSETA and many other solutions to end short time must be determined.
- We must replace consultation during short time and engage in negotiations.
- During short time workers must be paid for at least 36 hours per week.
- The industry must establish a fund that will cater for short time.

Housing allowance

- Housing allowance of not less than R1 000 per month payable to each worker in the industry.

Training and career path

- Introduce a ratio for apprentices i.e. for every five apprentices employ one artisan
- Guarantee all apprentices employment for the duration of their apprenticeship
100% payment for all training
- Current employees must not be expected to resign from employment if they take apprenticeship
- Training should not be limited to certain courses

Shopstewards recognition and time off 

- A minimum of 30 days for shopstewards
- Shopstewards should not lose shifts for leave granted for union activities and training
Amend sections 44.46 and 47 of the Main Agreement (reasonable to be changed to unlimited time-off)
- Unlimited time off for shopstewards serving at MEIBC, MERSETA and MIBFA to attend meetings and any other work for the structure

Employment Tax Incentive

No company in the industry should be allowed to implement the Employment Tax Incentive.


Workers must be paid for the full 8 hours during load-shedding where the companies have been notified in advance.

In these negotiations we were guided by our Bargaining Strategy underpinned by the following principles;

- Closing the colonial apartheid wage gap, fighting for equity in the workplace and demanding a Living Wage;
- No to downward variation to the worker’s conditions of employment;
- The democratisation of the workplace;
- Reduce excessive pay for the bosses;
- Developing the skills of the workforce that was deprived of that development during colonial-apartheid past; and
- Use collective bargaining to organise the unorganised and thereby growing Numsa into a formidable fighting force.

Read the full memorandum on Numsa's website.

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