Numsa: Petrol attendants’ strike to continue

Workers cannot bear the brunt of the global economic crisis, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said in Randburg on Monday.

"Bosses must appreciate we know the economy is in crisis," he told striking Numsa members. "As workers, we will not pay for this crisis."

Petrol attendants and car repair workers affiliated to the union began a nationwide strike on Monday.

Jim encouraged non-Numsa affiliates to join the strike.

"If you are in this sector, you are protected to join this strike, if you are a Numsa member or not," he said.

Striking workers chanted "voetsek 5.6%" to show their dissatisfaction with a wage offer by employers.

"If you go to work when we are not at work, it means you are undisciplined," Jim said. "Run employers, run. Run amagundane [rats], run," he said.

Jim said the strike would continue indefinitely, until the union's demands, for among others, a double-digit percent increase, were met.

Return to negotiating table
Earlier, Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said the union was holding marches around the country to urge employers in the sector to return to the negotiating table.

Thousands of workers, including petrol attendants, workers at components retailers, panelbeaters, car and spare parts dealers, fitment workshops, and dealerships were expected to down tools earlier on Monday.

The union has demanded, among other things, a R30 an hour across the board increase by 2016 on actual rates of pay in all sectors and divisions for workers earning above R6 000 a month.

Deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said last week that the industry had around 300 000 workers, of whom around 70 000 were Numsa members.

Negotiations with employers, which began at the end of May, deadlocked in July.

The Fuel Retailers' Association and the Retail Motor Industry were given 48-hours notice of the strike.

Ngobese said workers' demands should be understood within the context of rising living and transport costs.

Workers' demands
The march began around 11.30am. It had been scheduled to start at 10am, but was delayed while members from other regions made their way to Randburg from areas as far afield as Rustenburg, in North West.

The strikers wore red T-shirts emblazoned with their demands, including a skills-based grading system and a 40-hour working week.

Before the march moved off, they sang and danced to music blaring from a sound system.

The crowd waved placards bearing slogans such as "R6 000 minimum wages in the industry" and "Move cashiers to grade five".

Other demands included safe working environments for pregnant staff and a total ban on labour brokers. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

R2.3bn VBS trial expected to only begin in 2022

The state is expected to request a 16 week-long trial, as delays stymie progress in the saga.

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…