South Africa 4.7.2014 06:00 am

Seifsa slam violent union strike action

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

Union federation Cosatu’s biggest affiliate, metalworkers’ union Numsa, yesterday condemend accusations being made by employers in the engineering sector that its members, who embarked on an indefinite strike on Tuesday, were involved in acts of intimidation and vandalism.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) said they strongly condemned the violence used in recent strikes by Numsa members.

In a statement, Seifsa said: “We call on union leaders to rein in their errant members and for the South African Police Service to take decisive action to maintain order.”

However, Numsa’s Castro Ngobese said the union did not take what he described as “unsubstantiated accusations” lightly.

“They are just part of a cheap ploy by the employers to undermine the integrity of our struggle for a living wage and improved conditions of employment,” Ngobese said .

Numsa members are demanding a 15% across the board wage increase and a one-year agreement among other demands.

Meanwhile, Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba stressed that while workers had the right to strike, there was no room and no need for violence.

“We are extremely disappointed with the violent behaviour of some union members who have embarked on a wanton campaign of damaging properties – including vehicles – of some of our member companies in the Wade-ville and Isando areas since the beginning of the strike,” he said.

 

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