Durban - Thousands of Toyota and Man Truck and Bus employees are expected to protest outside the manufacturing plants in Prospecton and Pinetown.
This comes as the nationwide pay strike in the vehicle manufacturing industry enters its second day on Tuesday.
On Monday, workers at Toyota and Man Truck and Bus joined 30 000 employees of BMW, Nissan, Mercedes, Volkswagen, General Motors and UD Trucks across the country in downing tools after pay talks deadlocked last month.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has threatened the strike will continue indefinitely should employers fail to meet its demands.
Numsa’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary, Mbuso Ngubane, said the 10 percent increase offered by employers was inadequate to meet the rising cost of living.
“Even if it takes the entire month we will not return work until our demands are met,” Ngubane said.
Although Toyota spokesman Leo Kok could not quantify the loss in revenue, he said the company had a production loss of 729 units.
Ngubane said that if an agreement was not reached, employees would march on September 5.
“We are not doing this because it brings us joy,” he said.
“It is the last weapon to apply in negotiations stalemates and to bring attention to the workers’ raise plight.”
Numsa’s chief negotiator, Alex Mashilo, said: “Workers in the industry demand a 14 percent across-the-board wage increase and 100 percent payment if the employer institutes a short-term or temporary lay-off.”
Mashilo said a short-term or temporary lay-off occurred when logistical problems affected the supply of components and workers were given notice to go home.
When the components reached the plant, workers were called back to work, but they were not paid for the time they had been away, he said.
“Workers are tired of being sent home when the logistical system breaks down and of not receiving salaries,” Mashilo said.
“They must be paid when companies put them on short-term or temporary lay-off.
“It is not their fault that the supply of parts is not reaching the plants as they should.”
The workers are also demanding a R750 housing subsidy and a weekly R125 transport allowance.
Negotiations to avert the strike began in May and continued until July, but the two sides failed to reach agreement.
Further talks were held until last Monday, but these failed to break the stalemate.
“We remain open to the resolution of the issues that the workers have put forward to the employer.
“There is room for the employer to approach us, regardless of the strike, but until then the strike will go ahead.”
Mashilo said workers would welcome any proposal made by the employers to resolve the strike.
Thapelo Molapo, chairman of the Automotive Manufacturers Employers’ Organisation, said the employer and the union had been able to narrow their differences since the start of the negotiations in May.
“Unfortunately we have exhausted the formal negotiations process, but this does not mean negotiations do not have to continue until a solution is found,” Molapo said.
The solution was not going to come out of a strike, but through negotiations, he said. - Daily News