Numsa to strike over retirement changes
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA is planning a two-day national stay away to protest against new laws which prevent workers from cashing in their retirements funds when changing jobs.
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said yesterday the union's members were angered by President Jacob Zuma's decision to sign the Tax Laws Amendment Act and Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act into law without properly consulting the workers.
"We are going to be creative about the two days. We will have a discussion with our structures to establish the best way of taking the two-day stayaway. We will not know the possible date until we file a notice at Nedlac for protest action.
"Our members' reaction to this act is war. They regard the act as an attack by the ANC. They feel that they were sold out by the ANC.
"Our members will fight this in the streets. We hope that if President Zuma can change finance ministers quickly, it should be easy to repeal this act," said Jim.
The Tax Laws Amendment Act and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act force workers to preserve their retirement savings for the long haul instead of splurging them on luxuries as soon as they are paid out.
The legislation, expected to come into effect on March 1, standardises the tax treatment of all retirement funds, and limits tax-free withdrawals.
ANC alliance partner Cosatu is also vehemently opposed to the move.
Cosatu threatened the ANC, saying workers would have to choose between the party and their wages in the coming local government elections.