JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has issued a statement condemning what it terms the intimidatory tactics of the plastics industry.

In a statement on Saturday morning, Numsa said: "We are aware of a misinformation campaign, headed by the racist, backward employers of the Plastics sector. They claim the upcoming strike is illegal and are threatening our members with disciplinary action and dismissal if they participate in the strike.

"Numsa wants to assure members that this strike protected. Talks which began in 2016 broke down and we have not been able to find each other. We lodged a dispute with the Plastics Negotiating Forum. In March we served them with a notice in terms of section 64 of the Labour relations Act, which states: 'Every employee has the right to strike … if the issue in dispute has been referred to a council or the Commission as required by this Act, and, a period of 30 days, or any extension of that period agreed between parties to the dispute has lapsed, since the referral was received by the Council or the Commission'.

The union added that it had followed due process, adding: "We reject this desperate attempt to stop our members from exercising their right to strike. We call on all our members to prepare themselves for a total National #PlasticsShutdown. The strike will begin on Monday the 15th of October. The only thing which can stop the strike, is if employers do the right thing and give in to our demands."

African News Agency (ANA)