Strike threat in met­als in­dus­try

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Di­neo Faku

THE JURY is out on whether the me­tal sec­tor can avert labour un­rest after the Na­tional Union of Me­tal­work­ers of SA (Numsa) on Thurs­day blamed me­tal in­dus­try em­ploy­ers for pro­vok­ing its mem­bers to strike.

In a scathing state­ment on Fri­day, Numsa said em­ploy­ers had failed to meet its de­mand for a dou­ble digit wage in­crease dur­ing the sec­ond day of wage talks held on Thurs­day.

“Based on this pro­posal, we are con­vinced that em­ploy­ers are in­deed pro­vok­ing a dead­lock in or­der to jus­tify a strike. Em­ploy­ers clearly do not want in­dus­trial peace in the en­gi­neer­ing sec­tor, they want it to be un­sta­ble,” Numsa said.

Numsa said em­ploy­ers had of­fered a three-year agree­ment, when it de­manded a two-year agree­ment.

Em­ploy­ers pro­posed a 5.3 per­cent wage in­crease across the board for the first year of the agree­ment, based on the min­i­mum rate, and not the ac­tual rate that work­ers earned.

If the Con­sumer Price In­dex (CPI) for the sec­ond and third year of the agree­ment was be­low 4 per­cent, then they were of­fer­ing an in­crease of 4 per­cent, em­ploy­ers said.

They also said that if CPI for the sec­ond and third year of the agree­ment was above 8 per­cent, then they were of­fer­ing an in­crease of 8 per­cent.

How­ever, Numsa has de­manded a 15 per­cent wage in­crease across the board, based on the ac­tual rate that a worker is earn­ing, and not on the min­i­mum rate.

“We are hor­ri­fied that em­ploy­ers want trade unions to help them to vi­o­late the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of equal pay for work of equal value by of­fer­ing new en­trants to the sec­tor only half of what they de­serve,” said Numsa. “To add in­sult to in­jury, em­ploy­ers have the nerve to de­mand that work­ers give them amnesty for break­ing the law and pay­ing work­ers less than what they are legally obliged to pay! They are in­sult­ing us by de­mand­ing that we en­dorse their crim­i­nal be­hav­iour by agree­ing to such an out­ra­geous pro­posal,” said Numsa.

The next meet­ing be­tween Numsa and em­ploy­ers will be meet­ing with the em­ploy­ers on Thurs­day (June 15).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.