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Strike doesn't halt VW production

2008-09-09 11:31
Production at Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) in Uitenhage will continue on Tuesday despite strike action, the carmaker said.

"The current strike at Schnellecke is as a result of a wage dispute between National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) affiliated employees at Schnellecke," VWSA said in a statement.

"Schnellecke and its employees need to reach an agreement," it said.

"A protracted stand-off could negatively impact current and future [VWSA] export contracts, thereby threatening jobs at the Volkswagen plant in Uitenhage."

VWSA said the strike at the automotive glass manufacturer, Shatterprufe, had not yet had any impact on its production.

"VW has sufficient glass stock to enable production to continue over the next few days."

VWSA workers were demanding a 13% salary increase, in line with CPIX, said Numsa Eastern Cape secretary Irvin Jim.

He accused VWSA and Schnellecke of using "scab labour" to try and run production in an attempt to "rob" workers of what was due to them.

"This is a cruel stance taken by both companies. How can workers accept a wage increase far below the CPIX in the face of high food prices, transport costs and electricity," Jim said.

He said workers were demoralised when VWSA and Schnellecke failed to keep their promise to sort out a dispute over the differences in payment of workers doing the same job.

"They promised to sort out the payments last year December, but have not done so. We demand that this be sorted out," Jim said.

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