I M P O R T A N T: "NUMSA is turning 30th this year, forward us any story, pictures or videos of your struggle from the shop floor"

NUMSA key Activities

NUMSA’s key activity is collective bargaining with employers.
However, there are other key areas of activity such as:

  • Training (technical training in the workplace) and adult basic education
  • Health, safety and environment, HIV/Aids
  • Gender
  • International
  • Benefits
  • Membership
  • Information Technology

Training and adult basic education
NUMSA is an active member of the Merseta, the sectoral training authority that covers most of Numsa’s members. It also takes part in the E-Seta and the Isett-Seta. We also negotiate with employers to provide adult basic education to those members that want it. We do not provide ABE ourselves, but instead sub-contract an outside provider to do this. Progress of students is monitored.

Health, safety, environment, HIV/Aids
Numsa works hard to ensure that members work in safe workplaces and are looked after if they are injured at work. In addition, a major effort is put into ensuring Aids education and awareness in workplaces. To complement this, Numsa also negotiates agreements with employers that protect members and their families in the event that they are HIV positive or suffering from full blow Aids.

Gender
NUMSA’s National Congress in 1993 agreed on setting up a gender desk. The main objective of the gender desk is to try and empower women to take a more active role in the Union at all levels. Women membership is estimated to be between 12% and 18%, yet there are very few women in leadership positions, particularly at national level. Programmes are being run to try and build women’s self-confidence and to try and change their view of women.

International
NUMSA’s international desk aims to build stronger links with metal unions within Southern Africa, the rest of the continent and the rest of the world.
Benefits
The majority of NUMSA’s members belong to many different pension/provident schemes. NUMSA’s long term plan is to try and rationalise these schemes into 1 scheme per industry. The co-ordinator is also involved with trying to improve the capacity of worker trustees to make inputs on their Pension/Provident Fund Boards.

Membership
Efforts are continuing to improve our membership system.

Information Technology
The I.T unit is constantly improving our Wide Area Network connecting all 9 regional offices to NUMSA Head office . Implementing latest hardware and software including Microsoft Windows Servers, Windows Terminal servers, Microsoft Exchange Server, MS SQL server and Accpacc amongst others. The I.T. Unit is also responsible for the technical implementation of NUMSA’s new computerised Membership system (MeMs).

Education, Publications Unit
This unit helps service all the different departments in terms of education of shop stewards, officials, and produces the Union’s major publications – Numsa News and Numsa Bulletin.

Legal
NUMSA has a team of national and regional legal officers, some of whom are lawyers, who are responsible for advising organising staff and members on their legal rights. They also represent members in court our outsource cases to outside lawyers.
The Finance/Administration Unit manages the financial affairs of the Union assisted by regional officers in each region.

Activities outside NUMSA
NUMSA plays a key role in Nedlac.
This is the forum where representatives from business, labour and government meet to discuss issues and make changes to proposed laws before they go to Parliament.

Bargaining on wages and working conditions
NUMSA’s key activity is bargaining around wages and working conditions.
NUMSA negotiates centrally with most employers at Industrial Councils.
Industrial Councils bring together all trade unions and all employers who work in one industry. Once an agreement is reached at an Industrial Council, the Minister of Labour can extend this agreement to cover every employer that falls under this industry.

In NUMSA we bargain in the following industries:

Industry:
Engineering
Auto
Tyre
Motor
eg. foundries, engineering workshops, some component factories.
eg.VW, Delta, some component factories
eg. Bridgestone, Continental,
Dunlop SA
eg. McCarthy’s, Midas etc. Petrol stations
Industrial
Council
Metal and Engineering Industries bargaining council (MEIBC)
National Bargaining Forum (NBF)
Tyre Industrial Council
Motor industries bargaining council
(MIBCO)
Major
Employers’
Association
SEIFSA
NAAMSA
New Tyre Manufacturers Employers’ Association
SAMIEA, MIF, RMI

There are some factories, like Eskom where there is no centralised bargaining for the industry. But in many of these plants NUMSA has built National Shop Steward Councils.
In these shop steward councils, all the shop stewards from that company meet nationally to negotiate with the employer.