Numsa threatens VW with legal action for firing 14 workers who protested over unsafe working conditions
Johannesburg – The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has threatened to take legal action against Volkswagen SA (VWSA).
This comes after the company’s Port Elizabeth branch virtually dismissed all of the 14 shop stewards affiliated to the union.
The group was dismissed after an internal disciplinary process, which has allegedly left workers at VWSA without representation at the plant.
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said the shop stewards were dismissed for defending the right of workers to strike over unsafe working conditions at VWSA.
Jim claimed that for more than two months, their members at VWSA have been subjected to a 50% salary cut and that UIF Ters payments (temporary employer/employee relief scheme) were not forthcoming.
“Over and above these financial losses, workers were under siege from VWSA management, who openly compromised health and safety protocols, risking workers’ lives while management and office staff worked from the comfort and safety of their homes.”
VWSA spokesperson Andile Dlamini denied the union’s claims, saying employees received all money due to them, including the Ters money.
Asked to comment on why the employees were dismissed, Dlamini said: “VWSA confirms that the 14 shop stewards were subjected to a disciplinary inquiry of which the details remain confidential between the employees concerned and the company.”