ERJ staff report (DS)
Geneva, Switzerland -- The International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Union (ICEM), a Geneva, Switzerland-based global union federation represented rubber workers across the worldthreatening global industrial action in support of Bridgestone workers in South Africa. Those workers are represented by the National Union of Metalworkers' of South Africa (NUMSA) which is fighting to hold Bridgestone South Africa to wage terms negotiated in the New Tyre Manufacturing Employers' Industry Association (NTMEIA).
ICEM said Bridgestone's South African management locked out 1,200 members of NUMSA at two former Firestone tyre producing plants, Brits and Port Elizabeth, on 22 March. At issue is Bridgestone South Africa's defiance of a South African Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) judgment that the tyre manufacturer is bound to the wage terms contained in a three-year collective agreement that was negotiated between NUMSA and NTMEIA that ended a 30-day strike against four tyre producers on 29 September 2010.
In a 31 March letter to Bridgestone South Africa CEO Kenji Shoda, ICEM General Secretary Manfred Warda said, â€œPlease know that the current situation in Brits and Port Elizabeth will be communicated to all Bridgestone facilities throughout the world and if your current labour relations conduct is not halted, we will begin to mobilise within these facilities.â€
In a public statement, ICEM said, "The ICEM will support NUMSA as it ramps up a campaign against Bridgestone inside South Africa. And it will take that campaign into Bridgestone tyre plants from Japan and throughout Asia, to Europe and in North and South America. "
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Press release from ICEM