Toyota has refuted the claims by the Numsa and has called their statements a "misrepresentation of the facts". (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

CAPE TOWN - Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has refuted the claims by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and have called their statements a "misrepresentation of the facts".

Toyota said on Monday evening that it would like to place on record that the statement issued by the Numsa relating to the strike action at Toyota’s Prospecton Plant and Atlas Road Warehouse, is a misrepresentation of the facts and is, in some instances, defamatory.

The company went on to add that it reserves the right to respond to the allegations and will do so in detail once all the facts have been reviewed.

TSAM said it would like to reiterate that it remained committed to ongoing engagement in good faith with the union in order to come to a satisfactory resolution.

Operations at the plant remain suspended on Tuesday, 9 October 2018.

What Numsa wants

Numsa said on Monday that the management team at Toyota "stubbornly refused" to engage with their just demands. 

As a result, Numsa members have been forced to withdraw their labour.

Numsa said that Toyota is an untransformed company which routinely fails BBBEE compliance targets. They also repeatedly fail to meet their own Employment Equity targets. 

According to the union, this is because there is no political will from the management team to genuinely address these issues. 

Numsa said that Toyota management steadfastly refuse to procure from black service providers. 

"They keep claiming that Black people have no experience, but we reject this explanation. This is simply an excuse used by many in the South African corporate space to justify racism and a lack of genuine transformation. They have not taken any practical steps to open up space so that black companies can participate fairly in the procurement process."

Below are some of the reasons Numsa workers are on strike:

"We demand the establishment of a transformation committee which will oversee and participate the recruitment and procurement process. Toyota keeps failing to meet transformation targets and needs Numsa to oversee the process."

"We demand that the independence of the chairperson in Disciplinary processes must be upheld. Whenever there is a disciplinary process, the chairperson is forced to consult the IR manager, before he/she can issue his findings. We reject this practice. The management of Toyota is tampering with the disciplinary process in order to manipulate the outcome. As unions, we are not even allowed to participate in that consultation process, and as a result, the outcome is manipulated in favour of management. We demand that the chairperson must be allowed to fulfil his/her duties without any interference from any external party, " Numsa said. 

"All workers who received loans last year to deal with floods which took place in KZN should have their loans converted to donations. This was the case with some workers. We demand that this practice should be extended to all workers."

"We demand that when recruiting workers, Toyota must hire 70% contract workers which is a combination of ex-temps and database, and 30% through learnerships. Currently they are hiring 100% through learnerships."

"We demand that all workers be able to access free medical consultation which is offered by the in-house medical staff, whether they are on medical aid or not."

"We demand that the bonus system payment must be changed. If targets are met, then the amount must be divided equally amongst all workers."

We demand that all apprentices be given transport allowance, which was the practice in the past.

"We demand quality work wear, which is SABS approved. Also, we demand work-wear which is made specifically for women. Currently, female workers at Toyota have to wear men’s clothing which is not practical."

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