Numsa will continue its strike at Delta's Port Elizabeth plant until the company modifies its sick leave policy to make provisions for employees who suffer from work-related, chronic or HIV-linked illnesses, the union's Eastern Cape spokesman Sam Malanjeni says.


Numsa will continue its strike at Delta's Port Elizabeth plant until the company modifies its sick leave policy to make provisions for employees who suffer from work-related, chronic or HIV-linked illnesses, the union's Eastern Cape spokesman Sam Malanjeni says.


The strike over the company's sick leave policy resumed on Monday after workers rejected a proposal to suspend the strike, and the union and Delta were forced to reopen negotiations.


"The strike continues and the task at hand is for the parties to find middle ground," Malanjeni told CARtoday.com on Tuesday. "Numsa-affiliated employees and Delta share a common interest and that is that we want stable, but equitable, working conditions.


"Numsa accepts that certain employees have abused Delta's rules of sick leave absence and that such workers must be disciplined by the company," he added. "But it is unlikely that our members will stop the strike until Delta is willing to adapt its policy and make specific concessions relating to sick leave for employees who suffer from work-related, chronic or HIV-linked illnesses".


The decision by about 3 000 National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members was a setback for Delta, which - as CARtoday.com reported on Friday - claimed Numsa had agreed to suspend the strike and Delta had agreed in principle to begin a process to address the "sick absence policy".


Numsa spokesman said at the time the strike was unaffected until all workers were consulted at a general meeting on Monday, but workers later decided to continue with the strike after expressing "great reservations about the proposals made by the employers last week”.


Delta corporate affairs manager Denise van Huyssteen confirmed that production operations did not resume yesterday "despite arriving at an in-principle agreement with the union on Friday to commence a facilitated process to examine certain aspects of the company's sick absence procedures".


Van Huyssteen said this facilitated process was "scheduled to start immediately with a view to finding an urgent solution to the matter".