THE strike by Numsa-affiliated workers at Port Elizabeth’s Continental Tyre South Africa enters its fourth day today after the union and the company failed to reach an agreement yesterday.
The workers downed tools on Tuesday demanding the company pay them according to what they said was a bargaining council agreement reached in 2010.
They claimed that according to the agreement they would be paid time- and-a-half for working on Saturdays and a double rate for Sundays.
But the company has dismissed this, saying the bargaining council had referred the issue back to plant level so that companies and unions could broker a deal on how to compensate workers for weekends.
While Continental Tyre human resources general manager Attie Higgs said proposals were exchanged at yesterday’s meeting, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) denied this.
Continental Tyre Numsa shop steward Dan Maqwili said no formal offer was made at the meeting.
“We just had verbal talks and there was nothing in writing. Our demands have not changed and the strike is still ongoing.
“We agreed to meet again on Tuesday afternoon so that we will first have an opportunity to speak with the workers before the meeting.
“We just had talks about a possible solution, but we agreed not to divulge any details to the media until we have a formal offer that workers understand,” Maqwili said.
Higgs said: “The parties met at 10am [and] proposals were exchanged. The parties will meet again on Tuesday. Discussions are at a sensitive stage and the parties agreed not to divulge the contents thereof.” – Mkhululi Ndamase