Numsa has outlined plans for mass action if no resolution can be reached at this weekend’s talks between the union and motor manufacturers.

Numsa has outlined plans for mass action if no resolution can be reached at this weekend’s talks between the union and motor manufacturers.


The last round of talks between Automobile Manufacturers' Employers Organisation (Ameo) and workers' union Numsa resulted in a deadlock on Wednesday. Speaking to CARtoday.com on Thursday, Numsa’s provincial organiser for the Eastern Cape, Sam Malanjeni, said that while car manufacturers had been “the last to make any move, conceding to an 8,5 per cent wage increase, the components and engineering sectors had not budged to any of its workers’ demands”.

Malanjeni said that the current negotiations were also about subsistence demands and added that 32 demands had been tabled by the union, all of which had been rejected by the manufacturers.

“This Saturday, the president and general secretary of the union and manufacturing chief executives will be meeting to try to resolve the dispute. At the meeting, Numsa will try to pressurise the manufacturers into action, but if no agreement is reached, the negotiations will move into mediation.

“If an agreement can still not be reached, we will launch strike action.”

Malanjeni added that by following all the channels as stipulated by legislation, whether workers would engage in strike action would be clear by the end of the month. He said that given the response by all the sectors, the union was building itself up towards a strike with workers participating in a march on July 30 to manufacturers' offices. The planned march will not affect production.

In 2001, a 20-day strike by automotive workers cost the sector about R360-million. The strike ended after the union accepted a nine per cent annual pay increase under a three-year agreement following an initial demand of 15 per cent.

On Wednesday, Ameo spokesman David Kirby said that talk of a strike was "premature".

"We have made an offer which we believe to be very progressive and realistic," Ameo spokesman David Kirby said. "We still have a process in place to reach an outcome".

Labour laws require the union to consult its members and declare a dispute before it may strike legally - Numsa had not done that as yet, Kirby said on Wednesday.