NUMSA distances itself against allegations of violence and vandalism
23 October 2018
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) distances itself from allegations of violence and destruction of property. The employers in the plastics sector have accused our members of participating in acts of violence and vandalism. They have accused us of burning down Artefusion, a Plastics factory in Ladybrand in the Free State. They also claim that our members vandalized property at DPI Plastics.
We want to state upfront that we reject any allegations of criminal behaviour. The fire at Artefusion occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning. Some of our members were held for questioning, but they were released soon thereafter because there was no evidence linking them to the alleged arson.
We reject these allegations with the contempt that they deserve. We want to remind them that we operate in a legal framework where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. The allegations made by Employers are unfounded and not based on fact. Last week they lied to the public and our members, telling them our strike was illegal. Fortunately the Labour Court rejected their attempt to interdict the strike and re-inforced our right to strike.
We met employers on Friday in an attempt to settle the strike. Unfortunately, we remain far apart from each other. Employers seem determined to impose conditions which will worsen the working environment for our members. However, our members remain militant and disciplined. The strike will continue until our demands are met.
The struggle continues!
Issued by Irvin Jim, NUMSA General Secretary, 23 October 2018