Picture: Nic Bothma/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday said it condemns Mpact Plastics for "shooting our members". 

The union said its members from Enock Mabaso Local in Pinetown were picketing peacefully outside the local Mpact Plastics company on Tuesday afternoon when they were shot at by members of the private security firm, Taxi Violence. 

"The company hired these thugs to fire on defenceless workers. Three of our members were injured when they were shot at with rubber bullets," said Numsa in a statement issued by its regional secretary, Mbuso Ngubane on Friday.

"It is disturbing that Mpact Plastics felt it necessary to hire this private security company, especially as at the time of the picket the SAPS were also present. Furthermore, Mpact and other employers have money to hire private security companies, but they do not want to grant our members a wage increase, which they deserve.  

"They keep harassing us with ridiculous, frivolous court applications and they make false claims that our members are violent, when in fact, it is the employers who are the ones brutalising our members!

"'We condemn this vicious, violent and unprovoked attack on defenceless workers. We want to remind Mpact and other plastic companies that our members have the right to picket and to protest."

Although the company could not be immediately reached for comment, Numsa said it will pursue this matter and follow it up with the with the police.

African News Agency/ANA