Metal workers in South Africa are involved in a protracted industrial strike. The employers have complained of the purported militantcy and violence that has been carried out during the work stoppages throughout the country., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
NUMSA condemns police shooting of striking workers!
07 July 2011
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) condemns the dastardly shooting of four striking workers in Krugersdorp, Bolt Corporation Company by members of the South African Police Services (SAPS).
We wish our four injured members and speedy recovery. No amount of police brutality or intimidation will deter us in our struggle for a living wage and improved conditions of employment.
We are incensed by the actions of the SAPS members who have taken upon themselves to use this industrial action to sharpen their shooting skills. We want to call on the SAPS that our members are not a shooting range and if they want to sharpen their shooting skills they should do so in General Bheki Cele’s backyard.
We call on both the Minister of Police Cde Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele to provide leadership by taking drastic actions against those irresponsible policemen. They actions confirm the late Burkinabe revolutionary and leader Thomas Sankara’s words ‘an unconscious policeman is a dangerous criminal’. The SAPS cannot be a hide-out for criminals who are blood thirsty and envy to shot at defenseless and innocent workers.
NUMSA has always prided itself on its member’s high levels of discipline in strikes and demonstrations. Our members are militant and angry, but on daily basis they are being provoked and assaulted by women and men in blue uniform belonging to the SAPS. Since the beginning of the strike, our members have been behaving in a peaceful, lawful and orderly manner.
Castro Ngobese, NUMSA National Spokesperson – 073 299 1595
Numsa to continue with strike
Jul 6, 2011
Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi and Bakae Maesela
THE National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) has vowed to continue with its strike until its demands are met.
Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese told Sowetan yesterday the workers would not be intimidated by the no work, no pay rule.
"We rejected the 7percent increase that employers were offering because we felt it was an insult to us as workers.
"If they do not give us the 13percent we want we will go back to the 20percent we initially demanded," Ngobese said.
He said employers had not given Numsa feedback on the meeting they held on Monday afternoon.
"We are still waiting for them. In the meantime we will fight for workers to get what they need in order for them to be able to take care of their families," Ngobese said.
Workers in Welkom yesterday marched to Steeldale Reinforcing Company to hand over their memorandum.
Numsa rolled out its mass action across the country on Monday to demand better living wages.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa's (Seifsa) said there had been no move by employers.
"We have not held any meeting with other stakeholders since negotiations broke down," Seifsa's Gordon Angus said.
Angus said they were anticipating a meeting with the union this week.
Meanwhile, Numsa will today march to the embassies of the United States, Britain and France in Pretoria at 10am.
"The march is to protest the bombing of Libya led by the forces of imperialism as represented by the US, Britain and France," Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven. said
"We salute Numsa and all Cosatu affiliates for their consistency in linking the workers' demands and struggles in the country to those of other suffering fellow workers and people all over the world."
South Africa: Employers Condemn 'Most Violent Strike in History'
7 July 2011
Johannesburg — The National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA) and the Plastics Convertors Association (PCA) have both strongly condemned the violent and destructive nature of the current strike action which was started by NUMSA on Monday, 4 July 2011.
According to NEASA CEO, Gerhard Papenfus, they have been inundated by reports from employers and non-striking employees around the country of severe intimidation, violent behavior, assault and damage to property since the strike begun on Monday, "This strike is without a doubt one of the bloodiest and violent strikes we have seen to date," Papenfus says. "Whist every employee has the right to a peaceful strike, the current nature of the NUMSA strike is against the rule of law," he says, adding that they have received numerous photographs of property that has been destroyed, employees physically assaulted and striking workers brandishing weapons to support the reports of violence and intimidation.
"It is clear that NUMSA has lost control over their members. We are holding them responsible for every life threatening and violent act of their members, which includes the assault by striking workers with sjamboks and knobkieries, damage to property, intimidation of customers and non-striking employees as well as the refusal of entry of replacement labour," says Johan Pieterse, CEO of PCA.
Meanwhile, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has also been criticized for allowing the striking workers to intimidate them. Employers are claiming that SAPS is literally standing by whilst property are being destroyed, without lifting a finger to stop these assaults, and in some cases are even refusing to take down affidavits by injured parties.
Concludes Papenfus: "We condemn the violence which has come to mar and characterize the current NUMSA strike in the strongest possible way. The NUMSA leadership has to address its members and urge them to continue with the strike in a peaceful, orderly and non-violent manner, failing which we will have to take steps to ensure the safety of our members and non-striking workers. The future of the negotiations seem bleak at this stage. Even if we do resume, we do not have much left to offer unions as their demands remains unrealistic and our proposals, aimed at job stimulation and job creation, are point blank rejected."