Numsa to discuss violence claims

National Employers Association of South Africa believes the union has lost control of its members.

Several businesses, cars and private property were damaged during a mass Numsa strike on 3 July 2014. Picture: iWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it will discuss claims its members have been involved in violence and intimidation during its wage strike at general meetings over the next two days.

About 200,000 Numsa members have been on strike at steel and engineering companies for nearly a month demanding a salary increase of 10 percent.

But companies have only offered between seven and 10 percent over three years and claim non-striking workers are being intimidated.

Numsa's Treasurer General Mphumzi Maqungo says the union's leadership will discuss claims of violence with its members but believes the workers are being intimidated by the police.

"Our members in Ekurhuleni went to the police station and weren't being listened to by the police when they were provoked by the same police."

Chief Executive Officer of employer body, National Employers Association of South Africa, Gerhard Papenfus says they believe the union has lost control of its members.

"Workers are literally crying and want to go back to work but can't because of fear."

More than 100 people have already been arrested for violence associated with the strike but Numsa is adamant its pickets have been infiltrated by criminals.

Furthermore, the union says National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega failed to convene a meeting with them to discuss claims of violence and intimidation, nearly two weeks after requesting an urgent discussion.

However, Numsa claims its strike has been infiltrated by criminals with political agendas.

Maqungo said "We were hoping leaders would meet with Phiyega as she requested to meet us but failed to do so."

Video: Numsa strike violence.