NUMSA on strike – Trade Union in negotiations
03/10: Over 600 members of NUMSA Trade Union last week downed tools at South 32’s Hillside smelter over wages, saying that they were “fed up” with the bosses attempts to rob workers of their hard earned increases.
They demand, among others, a one-year 7.5% wage increase across the board, South 32’s contribution towards medical aid, 20% performance bonus, and R5 000 in housing allowances. South 32 is Australian-owned.
Instead, South 32 is offering the Trade Union a three-year wage deal where in year one workers would get a 5.1% salary increase, no salary increase in year two but a R3 083 a month or R37 000 minimum cash payment, and an inflation based increase in year three.
NUMSA general secretary Irvin Jim said: “Workers are directly responsible for the success of the company. It is their sweat and toil which contributed to the massive profits that the company made.”
What are the benefits of joining a Trade Union?
Workers who join a Trade Union have the benefit of being part of an organised group who pull together around workplace issues. Topics ranging from paid maternity leave to salary increases to safety in the workplace are all dealt with as a group. You don’t have to tackle them on your own, as an individual. You also stand to get better protection from unfair treatment and victimisation and increased job security.
You also have the benefit of skilled negotiators and trained labour specialists who will strive to get the best possible deal for workers in their workplaces.
Unions can also help with other aspects of working life such as accompanying you to a disciplinary hearing and representing you if you're in dispute with your employers.
Some unions run training, professional development and networking events.
Do you earn the correct salary for the work you do?
One way to see if you need the benefit of a labour union is to measure whether you are earning the right wages for the right job. You can take the Mywage Salary Check to see if you are earning the same as your colleagues in the same position as you – and whether you are above or below the national average. The Salary Check is a strong tool for labour unions to use when it comes to collective bargaining.