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By Dimakatso Modipa

NUMSA president Andrew Chirwa addressing Ford Company workers in Silverton
NUMSA president Andrew Chirwa addressing Ford Company workers in Silverton

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is pleased to announce that it has successfully negotiated the return to work of its members at Ford South Africa following the strike that commenced on 4th of July.

Despite Ford securing an interim order from the Labour Court and Ford’s subsequent threat of dismissal, over 3000 workers refused to return to work and production ground to a halt.

After days of marathon behind the scenes negotiations with Ford management to address the legitimate grievances of workers, NUMSA was able to secure an agreement that all workers will be able to return to work and there will be no disciplinary sanction for those who participated in the strike.

In addition, NUMSA also negotiated that Ford pays workers R20 000 for each worker as a deadlock breaking mechanism and to pay these monies as soon as possible following the return of workers to the workplace.

In this regard NUMSA calls on all workers at Ford to report for their shifts tomorrow morning (Friday, 12 July 2024) commencing at 06h00, in that the strike has ended.

Whilst Ford does not regard the aforesaid payment as it acceding to the strike demand of workers for profit-sharing, NUMSA is of the firm view that a very important foundation has been laid for workers in Ford (and in South Africa in general), to share in the profits of companies in order to create a more equitable society and eradicate the tendency in the world that a few billionaires can consistently increase their exorbitant wealth at the expense of workers, and on the basis of the exploitation of the working class. This is indeed a very positive development towards a more just and equitable society.

The NUMSA General Secretary, Irvin Jim said, “this is a victory for workers! As a union we believe that the working class must benefit from the profits that are generated because workers create wealth.

It would not have been possible if our members had not been united in their demands”.

NUMSA continues to be shield and a spear for workers. We call on all workers to join NUMSA because we fight to improve the lives of workers and their families!

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