Irvin Jim, general secretary of Numsa File picture: Gcina Ndwalane/ANA Pictures
HARARE  - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said its members at South 32’s aluminum smelter in Richards Bay had resolved not to return to work until management treated its "members with the dignity that they deserve" as it intensifies its wage strike. 

“They need to stop patronising workers. Our demands are clear; cash payouts will not make a meaningful improvement in the lives of workers and their families. South 32 wishes to turn workers into financial slaves, who must be dependent on debt in order to survive. We reject this with the contempt it deserves,” Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said yesterday. 

About 600 Numsa members downed tools at South 32 aluminium smelter in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. 

Numsa is reportedly demanding a 7.5% increase as part of a one- year wage deal, but 8.2% for the lowest paid workers. 

It also wants South 32 to contribute towards medical aid and provide a R5 000 housing allowance to its workers.