NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Numsa declares war in the car industry over 6,5% wage offer.

12 July 2004, Posted in Press Releases

DATE: 12 July 2004

Johannesburg Press release – for immediate release


Over the weekend, the wage talks between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (AMEO) deadlocked. The wage offer remains unchanged at 6,5% across the board. The union will now meet with the Chief Executive Officers next week in a last ditch effort to break the stalemate. The union is demanding 9% across the board.

We are bracing for massive strike action in the car industry. The more the role, status, contribution of workers is disputed and undermined by employers the more the strike becomes closer. The strike action is imminent. We are not happy with the current 6,5% wage offer because is not comprehensive and workable . The current 6, 5% wage offer is just a slap in the face of workers. We must now push employers to give workers 9%. AMEO negotiators continued with their narrow –focused rapacious instinct and attitude of paying low wages. Employers remain stuck in the habits of the past. Their reason for paying low wages is based on subjective evaluations of the industry. We will continue to reject the simple-minded notions of inflation related wage increases because it is not compatible with the living standard of workers. Inflation targeting has little regard to real factors such as poverty and unemployment. It has generated significant costs for workers.

Employers have not taken note of the impact the strike it will have on their export deals. In this regard, we remain unapologetic and unafraid to strike to increase the wages of workers. The strike will prevail over low wages. The current reasoning of paying low wages, apart from being opaque is unjustly applied to workers who have shown deep commitment to improve production in the industry.

The offer is inappropriate and prejudices workers. The crippling social cost of paying low wages will undermine the potential of the industry as the main engine of economic growth. The creation of an enabling environment for growth is the ultimate recognition that workers deserve to be paid better. Workers must be compensated accordingly, so that the wages should contribute to net social benefit in the economy. Workers wages have a distributional effect in the domestic market and always compensate for unemployed and the poor.

Numsa”˜s Demands.

-A guaranteed wage increase of 9% percent across the board;

– 3-year wage agreement;

-Training should take place during working hours;

-100% payment of maternity leave;

-For every artisan there must be one apprentice;

-Workers working under the labour brokers should be employed permanently after 3 months;

-Any bonus should be calculated at 9%;

-Provide anti-retroviral drugs to HIVAIDS sufferers and must be given 30 days sick leave circle;

-Negotiate additional categories of workers for level 5;

-5 days per occurrence for family responsibility leave.

For more information contact Dumisa Ntuli @ (011) 689 1700 or cell 0829737282