5 Basic Questions and Answers about NUMSA:
1. What is NUMSA ?
Numsa is the biggest metalworkers trade union in South Africa with more than 339, 567 members (as at January 2014). It is an active affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the biggest trade union federation in South Africa .
Formed in 1987, it merged five different unions, some of whom had formed in the 1960s and 1970s. So Numsa brings a wealth of experience to trade unionism. It is the biggest trade union (except in Eskom) in all national bargaining forums where it bargains.
2. Who can join Numsa?
If you are an hourly paid worker or a member of the salaried staff, regardless of your colour, creed or political affiliation as long as you work in the:
- Engineering sector – if you manufacture steel, or if you manufacture things made from steel like car components, aluminium cans, bolts, nuts etc.
- Motor sector – if you work in a garage as a mechanic or petrol attendant, or if you sell cars, or parts for motor cars and if you make car parts
- Auto/tyre sector – if you assemble cars, make tyres
- Electronics sector – if you assemble tvs, telephones and make the cables for telephones and computers
then you can join Numsa.
3. What benefits does Numsa give me?
Shop stewards at each and every workplace backed up by nearly 200 full-time officials in 60 offices across the country will:
- Defend your rights at work
- Take up your grievances
- Represent you in disciplinary and appeal hearings as soon as you become a member – no waiting time
- Fight unfair labour practices, retrenchments and all forms of discrimination
- Bargain to improve your wages and working conditions
- Provide funeral benefits for you and your family as soon as you start paying subscriptions – no restrictions, no exclusions.
- Bursaries for children of NUMSA members
4. How much do I pay to belong to Numsa?
Only 1% of your basic wage per week (or per month).
5. What is Numsa’s politics?
Numsa is an affiliate of Cosatu and Cosatu is in alliance with the SACP and the ANC. Through this Alliance, Numsa hopes to make workers’ lives better.
But Numsa is proud to have members from different political parties. It encourages free and open debate in its structures and it keeps workers united on the factory floor around common problems.
Since the first democratic elections in 1994, Numsa has thrown its lot behind this alliance to improve workers’ lives even though it respects individual members’ rights to vote for the political party of their choice. Numsa has always said that it will reassess this alliance from time to time to see if it is achieving this objective.