South Africa 3.7.2014 03:58 pm

‘Numsa’ strikers blamed for Benoni violence

Members of the Numsa Industria branch march outside Nampak, 2 July 2014, during the second day of their strike for higher wages in the metal and engineering sectors. Picture: Bianca du Plessis

Members of the Numsa Industria branch march outside Nampak, 2 July 2014, during the second day of their strike for higher wages in the metal and engineering sectors. Picture: Bianca du Plessis

Two women are currently in hospital after being assaulted by striking workers believed to be affiliated to trade union Numsa in Benoni on the East Rand.

Packaging company Forte Plastics in Apex, Benoni confirmed the women sustained various injuries following the alleged assault this morning.

Media reports that one of the assaulted women was pregnant could not be confirmed. Striking workers are believed to have gained entry to the premises of the company by smashing the gate.

Protesters were said to have caused damage amounting to more than R1 500 000 to local company David Brown Gear Systems, according to the Benoni City Times.

While marching along Birmingham Street, strikers ripped out the gate of David Brown Gear Systems and forcefully entered the premises.

CEO Mark Field said protesters damaged machines and computers, and looted laptops and tools.

“They threatened to burn the building if we did not get out in 15 minutes,” said Field.

Ekurhuleni Metro police department spokesperson Superintendent Vusi Mabanga however told The Citizen that no incidents of violence had been reported today.

“On Wednesday, we had reports that people’s cars were being damaged by striking members,” said Mabanga, who also could not confirm reports that one of the assaulted women was pregnant.

Around 220 000 Numsa members in the metal and engineering industries sector began an indefinite strike for a double digit wage increase on Tuesday.

The union dismissed claims that some of its striking members were involved in intimidation and violence.

 

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