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

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. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

High Court strikes down ‘paternalistic’ lockdown regulations

The order of unconstitutionality has been suspended for two weeks

L’Oréal workers demand a shutdown of local plant, citing Covid-19...

The French cosmetics company’s Midrand plant has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases in two weeks

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening
Advertising

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday