Numsa downs tools at KZN plastic factory

File: Members of Numsa are on strike at Mpact Plastics in Pinetown to demand parity between contract and permanent workers. Photo: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG – Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have downed tools at Mpact Plastics in Pinetown in Durban in protest against unequal wages and employee benefits.

At least 140 Mpact contract workers are on strike demanding equal pay and benefits enjoyed by permanent workers.

Numsa said they were withholding their labour because they were fighting for equality in the workplace. 

Permanent employees had joined the strike in solidarity with their fellow workers, the union said.

“They recognise that an injury to one worker is an injury to all and they are willing to do what is necessary to ensure equality in the workplace,” said Numsa’s KwaZulu-Natal regional secretary, Mbuso Ngubane.

READ: Numsa threatens strike action

Ngubane said that workers would picket outside the company offices to demand equal pay for work of equal value.

Mpact Plastic is a major supplier of plastic containers and manufacturer of Jumbo wheeled bins, crates, trays and related packaging items.

Ngubane said contract staff must be paid R40 per hour, just like the permanent staff. They currently earned half of what the permanent staff earned.

Contract staff must receive benefits afforded to permanent staff such as membership of a provident fund and medical aid, he said.

Ngubane, who also called for an end to labour brokers, said Numsa had secured a victory in July when the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) had reinforced the rights of temporary and contract workers.  

The LAC ordered that contract workers who have worked for a company for more than three months be made permanent.


African News Agency

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