Numsa slams non-striking workers

The union labelled members who did not heed calls to strike as ill-disciplined.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) during strike in northern Johannesburg on 09 September 2013. Picture: Mbali Sibanyoni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim on Monday labelled members who did not heed calls to strike as ill-disciplined.

A strike by the automotive industry officially kicked off on Monday.

Workers are demanding a double-digit pay increase, equating to a hike of around R30 per hour.

Striking workers on Monday marched down to both the South African Fuel Retailers Association and Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) offices in Randburg to put forward their grievances.

Petrol attendants, panel beaters, car and spare part dealers are among those striking.

Jim says most workers who were at their posts today were too afraid to join in the demonstration.

Earlier, Eyewitness News saw some petrol attendants at filling stations disguised in casual wear.

Jim says the strike is necessary to stop employers from treating South African workers like sub-human slaves.

He said employers maintained an "apartheid-era mentality".

The general secretary added, "To solve any strike, it takes parties moving from their positions."

More provinces are set to join the strike later this week.

CAPE TOWN

Dozens of petrol attendants and car repair workers held a march at the RMI offices in Parow, Cape Town.

The group demanded a decent living wage, maternity leave benefits and a 40-hour work week.

Around 8,000 workers affiliated to Numsa are taking part in the strike in the Western Cape.

A Waterfront petrol attendant participating in the strike told Eyewitness News he earns peanuts.

Another worker says he can't provide for his family earning R800 a week.

A memorandum of demands was handed to officials from the RMI.