Numsa vows to intensify Wits University strike

Striking Wits University workers are demanding a 12% salary increase. (Albert Mahlomotja, Supplied)
Striking Wits University workers are demanding a 12% salary increase. (Albert Mahlomotja, Supplied)

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have vowed to intensify the strike for higher wages at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

The union said they were aware that the university was scheduled to reopen on Monday, but said that the institution had brought the strike upon itself.

“The management at the institution refuses to treat workers like human beings and pay them a living wage,” said Numsa acting spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.

“We also demand an end to labour brokers,” Hlubi-Majola said.

READ: Hundreds of Wits University workers go on strike

The workers are demanding a 12% increase across the board, while the university is offering 8%. They are also demanding that 85 contract workers be insourced and that the lowest earners' wages increase from R7 500 to R9 000 per month.

“This was a situation created by a stubborn management team. Wits University is shamelessly perpetuating inequality and exploitation by refusing to pay a living wage,” said Hlubi-Majola.

Hlubi-Majola said the university’s “claims of poverty” were rejected.

“The university seems to have an unlimited budget for bouncers which are used to harass students who are fighting for free education,” Hlubi-Majola said.

He said Numsa was grateful for the solidarity displayed by students.

“The majority of them are children of working class parents and therefore they support us as we fight for dignity and equality for our families at Wits University. We pledge our support and solidarity for their struggle to access free education.”

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