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25 October, 2012Workers at Goodyear are demanding a relief allowance for stand in workers who cover for those going on break, which had been the standard practice in the company for more than 10 years.
"What used to happen is that when some people went on lunch, some were left behind working,” says Eastern Cape Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), Phumzile Nodongwe. “But now they want the workers to continue doing the same work but do not want to pay for it.”
Numsa argue that whilst the arrangement is not covered by the bargaining agreement, it is an established practice and workers have come to rely on the allowance.
“The employer cannot now hastily renegade from this, without following proper channels of engagement with the workers,” says Nodongwe, “This Relief Allowance has been a great source of assistance or relief to the livelihoods of these workers, including their families.”
Workers went on a protected strike on 23 October 2012 after two months of negotiations between Numsa and failed to resolve on the matter.