A 10-day strike by Numsa members at Delta's Port Elizabeth plant ended on Monday afternoon when union and company officials signed a revised sick absence procedure.

A 10-day strike by Numsa members at Delta's Port Elizabeth plant ended on Monday afternoon when union and company officials signed a revised sick absence procedure.


CARtoday.com reported on Friday (nine days into the strike) that Delta claimed that an increasing number of workers had returned to work, while the union threatened to call a sympathy action at companies supplying the Port Elizabeth-based manufacturer.


A Delta spokesman said at the time that the union had "thus far been unable to propose any acceptable alternative measures to curtail the abuse of sick leave". Numsa's Eastern Cape spokesman, Sam Malanjeni, said that the union would continue its strike at Delta's Port Elizabeth plant until the company modified its sick leave policy to make provisions for employees who suffer from work-related, chronic or HIV-linked illnesses.


But on Monday Delta corporate affairs manager Denise van Huyssteen announced: "The agreement, which is effective immediately, provides changes to the counselling process for employees who exceed certain levels of sick absence (30 days in three years, it was indicated last week).


"We thank the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CCMA) for facilitating this process," she added.


Malangeni told CARtoday.com on Tuesday: "Numsa believes that a proper settlement, that addressed the fundamental areas of our dispute, was reached. From now on, the company will no longer discipline members strictly on the grounds of exceeding the 30 days allocated for sick leave.


"There will now be a counselling process through which the company will find out the reasons for respective members' extended periods of illness and consider ways of rehabilitating and accommodating the members," he added.


In conclusion, Van Huyssteen said that all employees appeared to be back on the production floor on Tuesday and assured Delta's customers that "everything possible" will be done "to ensure that their needs are met as quickly as possible."