CEPPWAWU members embark on strike


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    sylvia hammond
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     Simon Mofokeng CEPPWAWU General Secretary, 4 July 2011

     More than 5000 members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) have embarked on a striking in support of their wage demands in the metal, engineering and plastic industries.

     

    On Sunday, 3rd July 2011, the labour court dealt a blow to the Plastic Convertors Association (an employer body) when it dismissed with costs the employers’ court action to the interdict the strike.

     

    CEPPWAWU, the NUMSA and the Metal and Engineering Industry Bargaining Council (MEIBC) successfully opposed the court interdict application of the Plastic Convertors Association who is not part of the MEIBC but falls under the jurisdiction of MEIBC. The court made a ruling that all employees, including employees of employers who are not part of the MEIBC as well as non-members, have a right to strike and join CEPPWAWU and NUMSA in their wage strike.  In the wake of the labour court ruling more than 300 000 workers are thus entitled to strike.

     

    CEPPWAWU will now mobilize not only its own members to strike but also the thousands of non-union members because the wage demands at the centre to the strike, once agreed upon, are to apply to all employees, irrespective of union membership.

     

    Members of CEPPWAWU are determined and resolute to achieve their wage demands because daily the basic necessities of life are fast becoming unaffordable. Employed workers are facing extreme pressures on their meagre wages where, for example, electricity only recently increased by more than 30%, coming on top of the 25% increase of last year. Electricity is one of the basic necessities that is fast becoming a luxury and unaffordable.

     

    The strike shall last until workers wage demands are satisfactory met.

    We are demanding:

    1.Wage increase of 13%

    2. A total ban of labour brokers

    3. One day testing for medical conditions be extended to all diseases

    4. Family responsibility to be extended to 5 days per occurrence

    5. Shift allowance of 20% for night shift workers

    6. Notification for change of technology be increased to 12 months

    7. General meetings for workers, full-time shop stewards, health and safety full-time shop stewards and a minimum of 20 days paid time off for shop stewards.

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