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'Strike season' hits carmakers?

2009-08-12 06:56
A strike is looming at the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Numsa said it had declared a dispute at Ford's operations in Silverton and had referred this to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for intervention.

On August 6 the CCMA awarded the union a certificate to embark on protected strike action.

"This came after a lengthy process in which the union engaged and tried to convince the intransigent Ford management to realise that brutalisation of work, undermining agreements, destroying jobs and eroding worker benefits is a highly dangerous  deed," Numsa said.

Outsourcing


The union alleged that Ford had identified "non-core" areas and had embarked on outsourcing.

"The company destroyed quality jobs which it replaced with atypical forms of employment such as fixed-term contracts and labour brokers," the union stated.
 
It added that affected workers lost their benefits and jobs were placed on the line.

According to Numsa, Ford was guilty of "poor planning and incompetent management."

Numsa said that workers were sent home on numerous occasions on short-time and temporary lay-offs simply because of the shortage of
parts.

Engine plant


The union was now demanding the termination of all labour brokers and subcontractors and an investigation into "incompetence and poor planning" that had led to financial loss on the part of workers after they were unduly laid-off.

Numsa said Ford workers were still on a two weeks short-time/temporary lay-off break.

"Upon returning the union will democratically consult them about the strike."

Numsa said its members in Ford's Port Elizabeth-based engine plant were also disgruntled about short-time and lay-offs and this could lead to a strike there as well.

The Ford Motor Company could not be reached for comment.


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