Strike action threatened in South Africa’s car industry – TopAuto
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Strike action threatened in South Africa’s car industry

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has released a statement indicating its plans for strike action in the country’s motoring sector.

The union represents “at least 90,000 members” out of the 306,000 employees in South Africa’s components manufacturing, petrol, and car dealership industries, it said.

Between 2 and 3 August, Numsa with met with employers in the sectors including the Retail Motor Industries (RMI) and the Fuel Retail Association (FRA), for mediation through the Motor Industries Bargaining Council (MIBCO), Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

“The purpose of the meeting was to reach a compromise and avert a strike. Unfortunately, we were unable to find one another,” said Numsa.

The union demands the following for its members:

  • 12% wage increase across the board
  • Social benefits such as medical aid for fuel station workers
  • Night shift and transport allowance for fuel station workers
  • Scrapping of discrimination clauses against Numsa members of the sick and accident fund
  • Alignment of the wage negotiations calendar for chapters 2 and 3 and the automotive sector
  • Overtime rate to be in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act for chapter 3 workers
  • Instating a peace clause allowing workers to raise issues in the workplace not covered by the collective agreement

Declined offer

According to Numsa, the FRA made an offer of a 4% wage increase across the board for forecourt attendants and 3% for Chars and cashiers for the duration of the three-year agreement, on the condition that the union drops the remainder of the commands.

“The RMI was expected to make an offer but they have not yet done so,” said Numsa.

“We will be organizing National Shop Stewards Council meetings in the coming weeks with our members in order to mobilize them. We will also wait for a date from the CCMA for conciliation to deal with picketing rules.”

Numsa said it is ready for talks and for its demands to be “addressed in any proposed agreement.”

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