Numsa blocks Goodyear plan

Union wants better severance packages

NUMSA in the Eastern Cape wants Goodyear South Africa to put its plans of using a massive machinery investment to manufacture 4×4 tyres on ice until further consultation with the union.

The metalworkers believe that 110 jobs will be lost when the company rolls out the R670-million investment plan as the production of medium radial truck tyres (MRT) will be relocated to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The investment will be for the production of high-value added consumer tyres.

The company announced in September that it would invest R670-million to increase production of highvalue-added consumer tyres at its Uitenhage plant to drive profitable growth and meet market demands.

Numsa regional secretary Phumzile Nodongwe said yesterday the union would take the company head-on in ensuring workers were better compensated if retrenched.

“The employer says some will be allocated to other departments, but those who are 55 years and older will be offered voluntary severance packages,” he said.

“The employer wants to pay them two weeks pay for every year of service.

“The organisation is saying rather increase that to four weeks pay for every year of service so that people will be able to leave with something.

“Investments should secure jobs, not displace workers with new technology.

“We want the company to put this on hold until we engage properly,” Nodongwe said. Goodyear human resources project manager Kalay Chetty conceded that some staff would be affected.

Employees who would work with the new tyre production machinery would be comprehensively trained.

Chetty said the number of workers affected would only be known after consultation with the unions was completed.

“The proposal would affect a number of associates working in the production of medium radial truck tyres.

“The company anticipates that alternatives will be available for employees working in the MRT area.

“The alternatives proposed are subject first to consultation with the relevant union representatives.

“The company expects to substantially complete its investment plans by the beginning of 2017,” she said.

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