Numsa strike sees thousands march in Newtown in violation of COVID restrictions

Workers are expected to march to the offices of the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council in Marshalltown.

FILE: Thousands of Numsa members marched from Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown to the offices of the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council in Marshalltown on 5 October 2021. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of Numsa members have gathered at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Workers affiliated to Numsa have gone on strike, demanding an 8% increase.

Talks deadlocked with all employer associations in September after they offered employees a 4% salary hike.

Workers are expected to march to the offices of the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council in Marshalltown.

Thousands of metalworkers dressed in red T-shirts have converged on Mary Fitzgerald Square as part of their first day of action.

Bosses in the engineering sector have put a 4% salary hike on the negotiation table but that’s only half of what workers are demanding.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola: "You have to understand that these are workers who, last year, gave up their increases in order to protect the economy, in order to protect the engineering sector. This year, we were hoping that because of the sacrifice that they and their families made that employers would actually try and negotiate."

Similar marches are expected to take place in the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and rallies are expected to be held in the Western Cape.

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