General Secretary of Numsa Irvin Jim during their march to the MEIBC offices demanding a 13% wage increase, in Johannesburg on Monday, July 4, 2011. Photo: Leon Nicholas.
The strike in the engineering sector will be intensified until the employers meet what unions say are “reasonable” demands.
Without going into detail about the current state of salary negotiations, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said the employers should be moving with speed to resolve the dispute instead of embarking on “psychological violence”.
He was speaking to reporters after the union’s NEC meeting on Sunday.
The countrywide strike in the engineering sector entered its second week on Sunday.
The union announced it would embark on rolling mass action in demand of a 13 percent salary increase. Employers in the sector were offering seven .
Jim said the NEC would be receiving a proposed strike program of action, which included mass protest marches in Kwazulu-Natal on Tuesday.
Numsa’s strike has so far claimed the lives of two people, one hit by car in Germiston and another in Kwazulu-Natal.
Nine other striking workers were arrested in the past week.
According to Gauteng police, two people were injured when a supervisor at an engineering company in Krugersdorp allegedly shot at striking protesters who were allegedly assaulting working employees on Friday.
The supervisor and the two protesters, who were taken to hospital, were arrested.
Additionally, four Numsa members were injured when police fired rubber bullets during strike action in Krugersdorp on Thursday.
There were also claims that police had harassed, intimidated, and shot at strikers in Bellville and Germiston.
Jim denied that the strike had been characterised by violence, saying it had been peaceful.
“There’s been glitches, particularly in parts of Gauteng,” he said.
He charged that police were randomly shooting workers, saying they should instead focus on crime.
Meanwhile, Ceppawu said it would go ahead with its strike on Monday, a move which could see petrol stations run dry.
The union was also demanding a 13 wage increase, an end to labour brokers and 100 percent maternity leave. – Sapa