Durban – Toyota workers in Durban rejected a revised wage offer from their employer on Friday.
“The strike continues until the workers accept an offer from the employer,” KwaZulu-Natal National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) regional secretary Mbuso Ngubane said.
About 31 000 Numsa-aligned workers downed tools on Monday after pay talks deadlocked last month. The workers demanded a 14 percent across-the-board wage increase.
They also wanted a R750 monthly housing subsidy and R125 weekly transport allowance.
Toyota workers in Durban met on Friday to discuss the employer’s offer which was a 10 percent increase for the first year, and 8.5 percent for the second and third year.
Workers at the meeting demanded an increase of 10 percent for the first year, 11 percent for the second, and 13 percent for the third year, or alternatively 10 percent across the board.
They carried placards that said “70 percent medical aid subsidy,” and “we demand 35 percent shift allowance”. Another stated “temps to be permanent after three months”.
Ngubane said employees worked hard to reach their targets and went beyond the profit margin, but were not given a share in the profits.
“Employers don’t come back to us to increase our salaries on the surplus value, instead they take the surplus value and call it a performance bonus.
“It is important to fight for our share in the surplus value,” he said.
Wages in the sector ranged from about R8500 a month for basic workers to R18 000 a month for qualified technicians, according to the union.
Earlier, Numsa’s national office said it would consult nationally on the revised wage offer from employers in the automobile sector.
“The revised offer is being presented to our members today (Friday) through general meetings across all major plants in Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and East London,” Numsa national spokesman Castro Ngobese said.
It would wait to see if the offer was accepted.