Auto sector strike over


A strike by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA against the motor retail industry is over with the signing of a three-year wage agreement.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said on Thursday: "We felt that having pushed the employers to the table, to go back to members and say the strike has been two weeks and we feel the continued strike might have some negative consequences."

Petrol attendants will receive an increase of 10 percent in 2010 and nine percent in the next two years.

Component manufacturers will receive a 10 percent increase in 2010 and eight percent in the next two years.

Workers in other parts of the industry, such as panel-beaters, will receive a nine percent increase in 2010, an eight percent increase in 2011 and a seven percent increase in 2012.

Jim said that in agreeing to a three-year agreement, the union had "secured" itself.

"We have instructed that if Consumer Price Index goes above the wage increase to 10 percent we will get 10 percent. We will get whatever is greater," said Jim.

The wage agreement was passed by Numsa structures in eight of the nine provinces.

Jim acknowledged that the union had not achieved everything it had set out to do.

"We must be honest with our members, that we have not been able to secure the rest of the package," he said.

This included such issues as labour brokers and maternity leave.

However, Jim said the union had secured a commitment that these issues would be tackled in the coming years.

"As the strike is coming to end, it is important that employers not rest on the issues the workers have raised."

Numsa was able to get employers to agree to minimum terms of employment.

This included limiting labour brokering and setting its percentage in the industry at 35 percent.

Workers in the retail motor industry went on strike on September 1.

An offer of 10 percent, similar to the one agreed on, was rejected last week.

Numsa initially demanded a wage increase of 20 percent. - Sapa


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