Nine days into the Numsa strike at Delta, the company claims that an increasing number of workers are returning to work, while the union has threatened to call a sympathy action at companies supplying the Port Elizabeth-based manufacturer on Monday.

Nine days into the Numsa strike at Delta, the company claims that an increasing number of workers are returning to work, while the union has threatened to call a sympathy action at companies supplying the Port Elizabeth-based manufacturer on Monday.


CARtoday.com on Wednesday quoted a Delta spokesman as saying 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 earlier said that the union would 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 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. And on Thursday, Numsa spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said the strike would continue for "as long as all issues under dispute remain unresolved".


He claimed Delta, which published a statement in the and on Thursday, “had tried to break up the strike and confuse strikers through the media”, .


"Despite the current impasse on the issue which gave rise to the strike (namely sick absence), we note that attendance levels have continued to increase each day,” Delta corporate affairs manager Denise van Huyssteen said at the time.


In response, Numsa said it would call for a sympathy strike next week at companies that supplied Delta. "It is time to mobilise extra troops to ensure we win the sick leave battle. The sick leave policy has led to the dismissal of 25 workers and disciplinary measures taken against 400 workers in the past three years,” Ntuli said.


"It has expressly undermined the rights of workers to fair labour practice and flouted the Basic Conditions of Employment Act in terms of the 30 days' cycle," Ntuli said.


Van Huyssteen said earlier this week that employees were losing about R500 000 in wages and benefits each day they were on strike, which was affecting the livelihoods of the company's employees, their families, suppliers and the general community.


Ntuli said workers were angry and there was no basis for unfair labour practices or unilateral variation of terms and conditions of employment.


"The company's insistence on disciplining workers is not justified and it does not resolve the issue of absenteeism. Under the law, an employer is not permitted to amend, change or lower the benefits and conditions of workers unless there is an agreement with the union," he added.