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CNM Internacional
Confederação Nacional dos Metalúrgicos da CUT (Brasil)  August, 22 2001

South Africa - Solidarity from Brasil
Letter from DaimlerChrysler workers in Brazil to South Africa strikers

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Aware that you're on strike since the 6th of August, we'd like to declare our solidarity to your struggle.
It's absolutely clear that the transnational companies are just interested in maximizing their profits despite of the working conditions and the quality of life of their employees.
In Brasil they have the same behavior by paying much lower wages than in their original countries.
We were informed by the press that DaimlerChrysler is the putting pressure on the workers by threatening to move production elsewhere. Along with the president of the General Works Council at DaimlerChrysler Germany, Erich Klemm, that already condemned such threats and made clear that won't accept an eventual production transfer to Germany, we also say that, although we're demanding new products and more production to solve the problems of over capacity at the Juiz de Fora plant (which also produces the C-class), we, together with the Union from Juiz de Fora, won't accept an eventual increase in production and won't do anything against the struggle of our brothers and sisters' . On the contrary, we're at your orders for any needed solidarity action that you may request from us. Our position and our protest will be also passed along to the company.
By declaring that, we want to reinforce the principles that we established at the International Automotive Working Group, among the workers representatives at DaimlerChrysler worldwide: "we don't accept being played against each other" by the company.
We wish you success, and you be sure that you can count on the brasilian metallworkers. Your struggle is our struggle!

In solidarity,
Valter Sanches
Coordinator of the Works Council at DaimlerChrysler Brasil - Sao Bernardo plant, Union of the Metallworkers of the ABC - CNM/CUT and brasilian representative at the International Automotive Working Group

Victorious Numsa to Continue With the Car-Manufacturing Strike

After extensive deliberations and consultation, the special meeting of the National Executive Committee of NUMSA did not endorse the current revised settlement proposal from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). First, it must be mentioned that the union accepts the 9 percent as the basis for a future improved settlement. The car workers who in their evaluation of the proposed settlement package unanimously agree that this settlement should be further improved to 10 percent. The union will re- open negotiations with the Automobile Manufacturing Employers Organisation (AMEO) to improve the wage offer in the next coming days. The strike action will continue until all workers are consulted and a final decision will be made on Friday 24/08/2001.
The union accepts the following wage increase which must be improved:
An increase of 8,5 % backdated from July 2001 augmented by a 0,5% effective from January 2002 with an improvement factor of 0,75% for year 2 and 3 of the contract period. This means an actual increase of 9% across the board.

The following disputes remain unresolved: A two-year wage agreement.

No further claim clause. Numsa wants to take claims/demands at plant level and be able to strike for them.
Negotiateadditional categories of workers for level 5. Numsa wants team leaders, specialist, clerks, spray painters, quality control workers to be categorised as level 5 workers.
The union wants all outstanding issues to be resolved within a week. We trust and hope that the employers would not adopt the same paternalistic and parochial approach in the next coming week in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues. NUMSA salutes all workers who are strong for remaining united and disciplined. The fight for better working conditions in the industry is not yet over.
The strike has been a resounding success taking into account we managed to push employers to the current 9 percent increase which is above the current inflation rate. We are in line with the mandate of workers in this year National Bargaining Conference that the union should not settle for unacceptable inflation wage increases. The strike is still biting on the employers because they failed to break workers unity by making threats to shift production outside South Africa.
Through a strike action we showed employers that we are strong and united union committed to workers struggle and fair collective bargaining process. Our primary aim is to fight for the legitimate rights of workers. The strike has been very peaceful and well supported by workers in the component manufacturing sectors and we extend our appreciation to International Metalworkers Federation and sister unions in Germany, Canada, Japan, USA and Mexico.
Our fight with AMEO is in pursuance of our strategic goal in advancing towards a real workplace democracy and ensuring that workers have access not only to decent wages but increased benefits that will improve their lives. This will help in impacting positively in labour performance in the industry.
The leadership of the union accepts on behalf of workers that this proposed settlement from CCMA lays a firm basis for a future settlement. The strike demonstrates that workers have power to change their wages and working conditions.
Employers must increase the resource capacity of workers to purchase goods and services in the local economy in that way the economy will grow. If workers receive better wages that will collectively empower workers to take a stake in the industry and absorb the consequences of wage-cuts. That will also bring social and economic justice for all workers in the industry. If workers receive decent wages in the industry that will renew their determination to address the long-term problems of the legacy of the past.
The wage increase in the industry must be in the best interest of the workers. We always maintained that workers are not a cost to the company but add value to the industry and the economy.
We hope and trust that car employers and other employers in the metal industry will learn a lesson from this crippling strike action in the motor vehicle sector and move swiftly to address wage disparities. We have always believed that in any wage negotiations, compromise may be necessary in order to break the deadlock and talks should be based on fairness, transparency and proper vision to deal with sensitive issues in a way that parties can able to resolve impasses without strike actions. This is critical, in order to ensure an acceptable labour market regime.

(Congress of South African Trade Unions (Johannesburg)-Press Release August 22, 2001


Auto strike set to continue to Friday

By Hilton Shone

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has given the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (AMEO) until Friday to respond to a recommended wage offer that could see the end of a three-week strike in the industry.

Numsa general secretary Silumko Nonbwangu told a press conference on Wednesday that AMEO had yet to respond to a recommendation by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that the strike be settled by a 9% wage increase.
He added that Numsa accepted the recommendation which called for an 8.5% increase back-dated to July 2001 and followed by a further 0.5% increase from January 2002 and an additional 0.75% increase in 2003 and 2004. This translates into a 9% increase across the board.
However, Nonbwangu added that the strike would continue until Friday whereupon the union hopes to have a response from AMEO.
Two other issues remain unresolved.
Numsa wants to be able to make claims or demands at plant level and to be able to strike for these demands - an issue AMEO rejects.
Numsa further wants additional workers to be categorised as higher paid, level five workers.
SAfrica mediator proposes 9% pay rise for striking car workers
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has proposed a 9% pay rise for car workers, local news agency SAPA reported, citing National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) spokesman Dumisa Ntuli.
NUMSA workers began to strike on Aug 6 at plants belonging to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and Delta.
Ntuli said the CCMA recommended a wage increase of 8.5% backdated to July, followed by 0.5% effective from next January.
"This means an actual increase of 9% across the board. They have further recommended the establishment of a joint industry group that will look at issues around other union demands which relate to a no further claim clause," he said.
Ntuli said the union will consult workers on the offer and will make an announcement tomorrow.
There was no immediate reaction to the proposal from the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (AMEO).

© AFX News , August 21, 2001

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