Lowveld
Numsa strike leave sour taste in mouth
12:52 (GMT+2), Tue , 22 July 2014
Lowveld
The ongoing national National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) strike in the metal, engineering iron, and steel sectors is set to continue with local businesses, such as Steval being affected. According to Mr Jacques Meiring of Bossies Community Justice, protesters took to the company grounds of Steval, demanding that its employees join in the strike or alternatively stop working. “We were notified that workers were being intimidated. We went to the premises and Numsa told them all to take their things and leave. They also wanted to take one of the trucks from the building, buwe managed to convince them not to after a few minutes of negotiating.” The protestors then marched towards the R40 where they continued to toyi-toyi. After a while though, the numbers dwindled from about 250 to 50 protestors. “We have not received any reports of violent disturbances since Friday,” Meiring said. According to Mr Enoch Nhlapho, the union's local organiser in the Ehlanzeni District, meetings were held on Wednesday and Thursday to strive to gain a middle ground between the parties. They were to have a meeting on Thursday to continue negotiations to reach a settlement on their initial mandate. Numsa’s initial mandate demands that their workers get a 15 per cent increase in wages and 2,5 per cent on their housing allowance. “The mandate has not changed. We are still striking until our initial demands are met.” “We also want to facilitate the banning of the labour broker and ensure the non-implementation of the government-funded employment incentive act,” Nhlapho added. The Numsa Special National Executive Committee (NEC) will also take a position with regards to the mandate today. They will specifically focus on the bargaining team’s feedback and response from employers. Representatives at Steval could not be reached for comment on the ongoing strike at the time of going to print.

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