ITB Plastics workers on strike over wages

August 10, 2018 1:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

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JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Friday said their members at ITB Plastics were on strike demanding a wage increase.

ITB Plastics is a plastics manufacturing company in iSithebe in Kwa-Zulu Natal, owned by NOVUS Holdings and has a total staff complement of 500 people. 

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said they were the only union at the company and they have approximately 300 members at the firm. 

“We are currently in wage talks and this abusive employer is refusing to pay workers a living wage,” said Hlubi.

“Our members complain that the company has cameras inside the toilets. This is a gross violation of privacy. Female employees, some of them elderly suffer the indignity of having all their movements recorded live on camera even while answering the call of nature. This is unacceptable, We demand that these cameras be removed.”

Hlubi said the lowest paid worker earned R20 per hour and was denied medical aid and other benefits. She said they were demanding R3 per hour wage increase across the board and the company was only offering 90 cents which was outrageous.

“We demand that all workers are paid a provident fund. Currently only a few workers receive the provident fund. There are workers who have been there for 10 years or more, but are not covered by the provident fund.”

Hlubi said all employees must be paid weekly because currently there was inconsistency in paying salaries. Some workers were paid monthly, others were paid weekly whilst some were paid fortnightly. All workers must be directly and permanently employed, labour brokers must be banned.

“We demand an end to the racist salary structure that allows Indian workers to earn more than African workers for doing the same work. We do not support a minimum wage of R20 per hour, but sometimes we are forced to organise workers in sectors where the minimum rate is extremely low,” said Hlubi

“In the Plastics sector, the wages of workers generally are extremely low, in spite of the fact that the plastics industry makes billions annually. We condemn ITB for their backward and racist mentality. They want to justify the abuse and exploitation of workers.”

Hlubi said wage talks have collapsed and they have declared a dispute with CCMA. If they fails they would are likely to embark on a strike.

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African News Agency (ANA)

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