Vavi lauds ‘exemplary’ Numsa

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Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) File photo: Rogan Ward

Johannesburg - Numsa's current labour strike should serve as an example to other unions, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Friday.

“Let's hope that the (National Union of Metalworkers of SA) union and employers will soon reach an acceptable settlement and that other unions, including Fawu, will then make similar demands,” said Vavi in a speech prepared for delivery at the Food and Allied Workers Union's regional congress in Port Elizabeth.

He said the union demands should aim to achieve “decent wages and conditions and the end of casualisation and labour broking”.

Vavi also said that Numsa's demands were “fully justifiable”.

On July 1, about 220,000 Numsa members began an indefinite strike for a 12 percent wage increase, a R1000 housing allowance and the total ban of labour brokers.

On Friday, Numsa spokesman Castro Ngobese said the union was consulting members on a revised offer from the metal and engineering employers.

In his speech, Vavi also made mention of the recent report that dozens of neglected dead and dying animals had been found at a North West farm owned by National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairwoman Thandi Modise.

“We were all shocked at the story of the dead and dying animals on the farm of...Modise,” said Vavi.

“It reinforces our insistence that political representatives should not get involved in business. They must choose one or the other, and not try to fight for the poor, while enriching themselves from their businesses.”

Last weekend, police and officials of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) went to the farm and discovered pigs, sheep, geese, goats and ducks that had been without water and food for around two weeks. There were no farmworkers on the property, no electricity, and the water pumps were broken.

At the time, Modise told the Sunday Independent newspaper that she was still “trying” to farm: “I am learning. But if you are a woman and you are learning you are not allowed to make mistakes.”

Sapa


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