GM strike looms over packages

File Picture. Picture: JEFF KOWALSKY / REUTERS
File Picture.

Workers facing potential retrenchment from General Motors South Africa (GMSA) may down tools if their demands for negotiated severance packages are not met.

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) said yesterday that neither the affected workers nor the union would accept severance packages devised unilaterally by the Port Elizabeth company.

According to the union, the company intends shedding about 200 jobs and is offering packages which would leave retrenched employees in poverty within months.

The company earlier this year revealed it was considering offering voluntary jobs cuts and early retirement packages due to a weakened economy and a significant decrease in new car sales.

GMSA could not be reached for comment yesterday.

It has acknowledged it would be offering severance packages but has not yet stated how many employees would be affected.

The decision to strike as a potential negotiating tool was made at a mass meeting between GMSA employees and the union at the company yesterday.

“The employees are fully behind the union, which believes that severance packages should be negotiated with the company,” Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said.

Jim said the union was reluctant to have to resort to strike action, but that it was working in the best interests of the employees.

He would be seeking a meeting with GMSA managing director Ian Nicholls to discuss the situation at the company.

Leave a Reply