The stage is set for a strike by workers affiliated with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from Tuesday. The metalworkers union has vowed to strike in the metals and engineering sector until its wage demand of an 8% increase is met.
Employers are offering a 4.4 %wage increase.
Numsa will kick off its nationwide strike with marches in major centres across the country. The main march will be in Johannesburg where members of the union will head to the offices of the Metals & Engineering Industries Bargaining Council to hand over a memorandum of their demands.
Numsa has called on other unions and the public at large to support the strike. The National Union of Mineworkers (Num), which also has a presence in the metals and engineering sector, says it supports the Numsa strike.
“The National Union of Mineworkers supports the demand of workers in the metal and engineering sector. This is on the basis that workers in these sectors have suffered significantly in ensuring that they are keeping the companies afloat or the industry afloat. They have endured serious sacrifices, and therefore we say that the offer must be improved by the employer. The 4.4% is not sufficient taking into consideration the plight of the workers,” says Num’s Metal Sector Coordinator Mawonga Madolo.
Numsa gearing up for national strike:
Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is also gearing up for a strike this week. The one-day strike will take place on Thursday and aims to put pressure on the government to reverse severe budget cuts on social spending, including at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration.
“ The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is planning a national strike on Thursday, 7 October 2021. Workers are urged to join the planned activities across the country or withdraw their labour by staying away from work on Thursday. This is a legally protected activity that is focused on pushing both government and the private sector to take seriously the issues that are affecting workers,” says Cosatu’s General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.
The country’s other labour federations, Saftu, Fedusa and Nactu joined Cosatu’s socio-economic strike in October last year but they have not yet indicated if they will take part this time around.