National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members have embarked on a strike at Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM’s) Prospecton plant, in Durban, as well as at its warehouse facility in Atlas road, in Johannesburg.
The union said in a statement on Monday that TSAM routinely failed its broad-based black economic empowerment compliance targets, while also failing to meet its own employment equity targets.
“This is because there is no political will from the management team to genuinely address these issues; they steadfastly refuse to procure from black service providers,” Numsa claimed, demanding that practical steps be taken to open up the space for black companies to participate in TSAM’s procurement processes.
Numsa further demanded that TSAM establishes a transformation committee to oversee and participate in recruitment, and that the independence of the chairperson in the disciplinary process must be upheld.
The union also demanded other staff benefits such as that TSAM must hire 70% contract workers, which is a combination of former temporary workers, and 30% through learnerships.
The company currently hires 100% through learnerships.
Other Numsa demands included staff being able to access free medical consultations in-house, whether they are on medical aid or not; that all apprentices be given a transport allowance; and that work apparel for female employees is specifically designed for women.
Numsa said the union would not back down until all its demands were met.
TSAM confirmed the protected strike, stating that it resulted in the suspension of operations on Monday.
The vehicle manufacturer said it had a mutually respectful relationship with Numsa and was committed to continue engagements with the union to resolve the situation.