NUMSA has issued out their formal notice for their strike which will commence on the 1st July 2014, across all provinces. They demand a wage increase of 12% effective from 1st July 2014 until the 30th June 2015, with back pay in case of any delay. NUMSA declared a dispute after the parties could not reach an agreement with the offer by the employer of 7% being rejected by the union.
Included in the demands by NUMSA is a total ban of labour brokers, demands on short time in this manner: short time must not affect workers’ shifts in respect of leave enhancement; after 6 weeks of short time, there must be negotiations on short time and employer must be forced to provide training through MERSETA and many other solutions to end short time must be determined; short time should not exceed the minimum hours of 36 per week.; the industry must establish a fund that will cater for short time.
Regarding house allowance, the demand is an allowance of R1 000 per month for each employee.
Regarding training and career path, the union demands that a ratio for apprenticeship be introduced; guarantee all apprenticeships employment; 100% payment for training; current employees must not be expected to resign from employment if they take apprenticeship.
The demands on shop stewards recognition and time off are that a minimum of 30 days for shop stewards, shop stewards should not lose shifts for the leave granted for union activities and training; amendment to sections 44, 46 & 47 of the Main Agreement.
A demand on load shedding is that workers must be paid 8 hours during load shedding.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa has issued a notice of their intention to implement a lock out as per their resolution of the 23rd June 2014, in response to the strike called by NUMSA which as stated above shall commence on the 1st July 2014.
Although the strike is a protected strike, employees are not allowed to engage in criminal activities. It is a sad reality that strikes in our country are fast becoming synonymous with violence and destruction of property. Should the employees engage in any illegal activities during the strike, kindly contact Labournet Helpdesk for assistance.
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Author Name: Bongani Khanyile
Date: 30 June 2014