Numsa’s strike ends, workers accept offer

The National Union of Metalworkers’ (Numsa) two week strike action has been called off following a decision by the workers to accept the 7,5% offer by the employer, Tshenolo Waste.

This follows a deadlock on the wage dispute in which workers demanded 9% while the employer offered 7,5%.

According to Numsa local organiser Richard Shabangu, the decision was triggered by signs of frustration and anger by the workers, who accused the employer of arrogance.

They accused the employer of unlawful acts whereby axed em­ployees were called to push production.

They also accused the employer of intimidation and unlawful salary deductions while the legal strike action was in process.

The employer on the other hand refuted these claims and dare any kind of proof to these allegations to be brought forth in order for an investigation to be put in place.

Malusi Molewa, CEO of Tshenolo Waste, said all other employees have accepted the salary increase offer, except a minority of union members who has rejected it.

Shabangu sang a different tune as he said the few workers who were coerced into returning to work are linked to nepotism, while those who were on duty all along are former workers.

“This should not be seen as a defeat to them as the intention is to continue with the difference of 1,5% while the workers are at work,” he said.

Shabangu said following their rejection of the 7,5%, they were willing to return to the drawing board and propose an 8,25% increase.

“We as a union have been trying our best to prevent violence, although tempers were starting to flare after realisation that the workers are the ones who will suffer at the end of the day.

“The company transport were working and the employer was benefitting, while the workers were the ones protesting on a ‘no work no pay’ basis.”

He further said the aim is to pursue other benefits like medical aid and the contribution to a provident fund in the next wage increases, as they decided to prioritise the salary increase.

By the time of going to press, there was still no written agreement between the two parties.

This is after the union sent the letter of accepting the offer and the employer broke the news of the letter to Northern Cape Express.