Numsa workers demand removal of Mpumalanga secretary over ‘abuse of power’

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The workers are demanding the removal of the provincial secretary Essau Tau from his post for allegedly abusing the office by pushing staff members out of the organisation and instituting disciplinary processes against those outside his circle of friendship.

JOHANNESBURG – Eyewitness News has learned that in one of the rarest cases of labour unrest in the country, employees of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) embarked on a strike at some of its own Mpumalanga offices.

The workers are demanding the removal of the provincial secretary Essau Tau from his post for allegedly abusing the office by pushing staff members out of the organisation and instituting disciplinary processes against those outside his circle of friendship.

Numsa, the largest trade union in the country, is prominent for its militancy and regularly leads strikes against employers in sectors where they organise.

However, with the fight now on its turf, the union even turned to the courts to have the strike interdicted.

The workers who spoke to Eyewitness News on condition of anonymity said despite their grievances about Tau being filed with the human resources department, the abusive conduct by the head of the region continued.

They further stated that the people who were suffering during the strike were members of the union whose services, including representation in labour matters, had come to a complete stop.

When asked for comment, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim on Tuesday said they intended to engage with the staff members through internal processes and not the media.

The workers claimed that the national office bearers had failed to intervene in their dispute, however, they would be engaging with the provincial leaders.

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