File picture: Etienne Creux/Independent Media

Johannesburg – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it will intensify a strike at the Road Accident Fund.

This, it says in a statement issued on Wednesday, comes as mediation at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration has failed to yield results.

The union’s 1 500 members at the fund went on strike last week, citing issues over wage increases and the fact that the RAF is in “turmoil” and unable to pay its debts.

The RAF has said that Numsa’s demands are without merit as, despite the fund being insolvent, it adheres to a benchmarked remuneration policy.

CEO Eugene Watson has said: “Numsa’s demands are rooted in their insistence that the RAF adopt unverified, nebulous proposed salary scales, which the fund cannot accede to. Numsa, which represents just under 36 percent of the entire staff complement, is one of two unions operating within the RAF workplace.”

On Wednesday’s statement, Numsa alleges the fund wasted taxpayers’ money by “pretending” to mediate, as it did not enter discussions in good faith.

Read also: Union says RAF is in dire financial straits

It also argues that the fund will not engage workers on critical issues, and has suspended the bargaining council.

As a result, the union says, it will intensify the strike at all RAF branches across the country”.

“As a militant trade union which cares about workers and their families, Numsa will do everything legally possible to force RAF to be accountable to workers and the public. We will strike until the Transport Minister [Dipuo Peters] agrees to meet with us to deal with the problems at RAF.”