ERJ staff report (DS)
Geneva, Switzerland - The International union of chemical workers - ICEM - has said it is supporting workers at tyre factories in South Africa. The union said, â€œDespite two full days of bargaining between ICEM affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), and the New Tyre Manufacturing Employers' Industry Association (NTMEIA) on 16-17 September, no accord was reached to end the three-week old strike. Some 6,000 rubber workers have been on strike at six tyre factories operated by four employers since 29 August. â€œ
The union continued, â€œIn last week's talks guided by an independent mediator in Port Elizabeth, management of the Japanese-based company continued to deviate widely from the wage offers put forth by other tyre companies associated with the NTMEIA. While Continental, Goodyear, and Apollo-Dunlap of India placed on the table a three-year package containing wage increases of 9 percent, 7.5 percent, and 7.5 percent, Bridgestone-Firestone's offer was 7 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent.
ICEM said, â€œRubber workers of NUMSA are willing to accept a three-year pact, but their wage expectations are 9 percent in each of the three years. In addition, they seek a modernised wage module that will lift the salaries of workers who have been stuck at minimum levels for as long as 10 to 15 years. â€œ
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Press release from ICEM