NUMSA DEMANDS DOUBLE DIGIT WAGE INCREASE
By: Rumana Akoob
The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) held a mass march with over a thousand workers through Durban’s CBD demanding better pay and working conditions on Thursday.
NUMSA painted the Pixley kaSeme Road red as they marched to the City Hall to hand over a memorandum. Their demands included double-digit salary increases, shorter working hours, a 15% increase in shift allowance, and amendment of the industry’s peace clause and also called for the banning of labour brokers.
Some garages have been left with a hand full of workers as the majority are on strike.
Numsa’s deputy president Andrew Chirwa addressed the strikers on the steps of the City Hall where he made the union’s demands vocal.
“As we stand here, some of you earn less than R700 per week, some of you work night shifts with no security…We are here today to give employers one message, it is time to share,” said Chirwa.
He said also that they had rejected the 5.6% wage increase offer from the Fuel Retailers Association and Retail Motor Industry and demanded a double-digit increase. Colonel Strydom who represented the South African Police Service accepted the memorandum.
The memorandum states that despite the high levels of inequality,reproducing old apartheid income inequalities is worsening it.
Some marchers carried boards that had “Hands off Vavi” slogans. During Chirwa’s speech, he said that Zwelinzima Vavi should be supported. “All those who fight day and night against Vavi do so to please their masters. This won’t benefit the working class,” said Chirwa.