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NUMSA welcomes SAFTU’s decision to back the Engineering strike

14 July 2017, Posted in Press Releases

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) welcomes the support of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) in the looming Engineering strike. SAFTU has called on all 24 unions which represent over seven hundred thousand workers in the country to back NUMSA in the upcoming strike in Engineering.

Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi, the General Secretary of SAFTU is correct when he says that “the strike in Engineering is a life and death struggle for all workers in South Africa. The employers in other sectors are looking to see if the Engineering sector succeeds in implementing the slave wage of R20 per hour, so that they too, can implement poverty wages”.

NUMSA is gearing up for the mother of all strikes in Engineering. Employers have waged an all out war on all workers in South Africa and we have to fight back. The racist sexist employers in Engineering have the backing and the support of the ANC government, and the Deputy President of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa, is the one leading the charge.
It is ironic that Ramaphosa who built his career as a trade unionist, has re-invented himself as a union basher. The deputy President who founded the once mighty National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), is responsible for driving and implementing the National Minimum Wage of R20 per hour. It is because of this decision that bosses in the Engineering sector are demanding that we accept a proposal that new employees in the sector should be paid half of the minimum rate. So whilst other workers are earning R40 or more, Employers want to pay new workers slave wages!

Yellow bellied trade union federations like COSATU are also responsible for this situation. They approved the poverty minimum wage, which NUMSA was vociferously opposed to. COSATU is truly a shell of its former self. Besides being a mere labour desk for the governing party, they only care about the ANC’s factional battles, instead of fighting this attack on the working class. Currently they are too busy mobilizing workers to support Ramaphosa, The Union Basher, as a candidate for president!

We have not yet announced a decision to go on strike as we are in the process of mobilizing our members. Once we have received the strike certificate it will be easier to map a way forward and we will also be able to say when the strike will take place. The strike will allow all workers in Engineering sector to down tools, whether they are NUMSA members or not.
NUMSA is calling on all workers in South Africa to support this strike. We are fighting for a living wage for our members and their families. Workers in South Africa support up to seven extended family members on their wages. If the Engineering employers succeed in implementing this poverty wage, then all workers in all sectors will be affected. Those workers who are earning more and think that the NMW will not affect them, will eventually experience a cut in wages and their benefits will shrink even more.
We invite members of the media to attend a press conference next week to hear more details about the upcoming Engineering strike.

Audio version:

DATE: Tuesday, 18th July 2017
TIME: 10:00
VENUE: NUMSA Vincent Mabuyakhulu Conference Centre (VMCC), 155 Lilian Ngoyi street, corner Gerard Sekoto street Newtown

Aluta continua!
The struggle continues!

Issued by
Phakamile Hlubi
NUMSA Acting Spokesperson
0833767725