ITB Plastics, a division of Novus Holdings, has urged its workers affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) to return to the negotiation table, put an end to the strike, and cease all destructive activity.
ITB Plastics confirmed that employees have embarked on a strike at the firm’s IsiThebe plant in Mandini, KwaZulu-Natal, following collapsed wage negotiations between the company and trade union Numsa.
The company said that the strike has had a negative impact on the families of workers at ITB Plastics who were reliant on salaries, as striking workers were not being paid. Business operations have been interrupted since the strike action began four weeks ago, resulting in the company having to turn away non-striking workers.
“Despite efforts from ITB Plastics to resolve the negotiations amicably, Numsa withdrew from the negotiations. The resultant strike action has included the destruction of property and created an atmosphere of intimidation,” it said.
“ITB Plastics’ staff remuneration is market-related. Company benefits, such as provident fund contributions, in line with company policy, is reserved for permanent and staff members who have been with the company for a select period of time.”
Workers at ITB Plastics, which has a total staff complement of 500 people, went on strike last month, demanding a living wage and improved working conditions.
The company said it had offered 5.2 percent increase to workers, which was above the current inflation rate, while employees at Numsa were asking for total increases in excess of 20 percent. The company said it was also offering a phased-in provident fund to employees who were not currently on a provident fund.
The company has said it remains committed to seeking an amicable resolution, with minimal further impact on employees and customers.
– African News Agency (ANA)