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Numsa: Plastic manufacturers undermining workers' rights

The plastic sector is facing a national shutdown on Monday morning as about 10,000 workers affiliated to Numsa are expected to go on an indefinite strike.

FILE: Numsa's Irvin Jim (C) at a media briefing. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The plastic sector is facing a national shutdown on Monday morning as about 10,000 workers affiliated to Numsa are expected to go on an indefinite strike.

The union has warned that all industries which depend on plastic, including the automotive and cellphone sector, will be affected by the strike.

Workers are demanding a 15% salary increase.

Numsa says that it realises that a strike will have a negative impact on an already struggling economy but workers have no other option as they are simply fighting for a living wage.

General secretary Irvin Jim says that plastic companies are undermining basic workers' rights.

"We understand that the state of the economy is faced with serious challenges but these workers live in the same economy, they eat the same food we eat, they take the same transport we jump into..."

Employees want companies to pay them R40 an hour again, instead of the recent decision to cut salaries back to R20 an hour.

Jim says compares their salaries with slave wages.

"These ones, if they have a choice, they will take us back to slavery work and not being paid."

Numsa believes the strike has the potential to bring the sector to a standstill as over 450 companies will be affected.