Petrol attendant strike: Numsa rejects wage offer

A revised offer of a 7.5% wage increase for petrol attendants and car repair workers has been rejected, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Thursday.

KwaZulu-Natal regional secretary Mbuso Ngubane said: “The employers made an offer and we have already rejected it. They offered 7.5%.”

Further negotiations were underway.

The Numsa strike in the petrol and motor retail sector entered its fourth day on Thursday.

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.

Groups of people, believed to be striking petrol attendants, visited petrol stations around Soweto on Thursday and warned them to stop dispensing, said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.

“Police received reports of intimidation, which is increasing at petrol stations around Soweto,” Makhubela said.

The groups were moving from filling station to filling station to check whether people were working. “They are telling people to stop work,” he said.

Intimidation
While there were no reports of injuries or damage to property by early afternoon, some petrol stations had closed because of the intimidation, said Makhubela.

The police presence was being increased, with regular patrols at petrol stations.

“As the police, we are saying if they come and intimidate [petrol station workers] … we will come and arrest them.”

He urged striking workers to respect the rights of those who were not on strike, just as their right to strike was being respected.

On Tuesday, Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said the union did not condone violence and intimidation.

“Since the commencement of the strike, our members have exercised high levels of discipline and maturity.

“We are suspicious that rotten elements, particularly criminals, might be hijacking our genuine and legitimate strike, in order to undermine our wage grievances with the stinking rich bosses.”

He said union members had been encouraged to exercise maximum discipline.

“Our members will never act outside the ambit of the law. [Where there is] any evidence that suggests otherwise, the union is duty-bound to apply its disciplinary code of conduct in such circumstances.”

Picketing rules
Retail Motor Industry organisation chief executive Jakkie Olivier said previously that daily meetings were being held with Numsa to deal with incidents of intimidation and that the union had committed itself to intervening.

Olivier said on Monday the industry and unions had agreed to picketing rules before the strike began, which included a clause allowing employers to use casual labour while the strike lasted.

On Monday, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said at the start of a march in Randburg that all workers in the sector should join the strike, even if they were not Numsa members.

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

“If you go to work when we are not at work, it means you are undisciplined,” Jim said.

“Run employers, run. Run amagundwane [rats], run,” he said. – Sapa

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

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

Sapa
Guest Author
Advertisting

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories