Tyre workers strike ends as pay accord is reached

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Eastern Cape workers in the tyre sector who had been on strike for a month returned to work yesterday.

This comes after the National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa) suspended the wage strike on Monday following discussions with representatives of the employers.

Numsa regional secretary Irvin Jim said they had agreed on certain issues with the employers.

"Though we have reached an agreement with the employers, there are still outstanding issues. We will be happy when all things are sorted out," said Jim.

He said the wording of the agreement document, provident fund and working hours were some of the outstanding issues.

The union had demanded an increase of 9percent for this year but settled for 8,5.

And it also demanded an 8percent increase in the next two years, but accepted a 7,5percent increase.

Asked what they would do if they could not sort out the outstanding issues, Jim said: "We will cross that bridge when we get there, but we cannot rule out the possibility of a strike."

the spokesman for the employers, Attie Higgs, said they were relieved now that the strike was over.

Higgs said some plants had been completely shut down during the period of the strike, while others relied on skeleton staff.

"The employees' turnout is normal now. I understand that some companies are engaging the union about the recovery plan," said Higgs.