Numsa ap­plies for a strike cer­tifi­cate

De­ci­sion ex­pected by July 15

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Sandile Mchunu

THE NA­TIONAL Union of Me­tal­work­ers of South Africa (Numsa) has re­quested a cer­tifi­cate to strike in the en­gi­neer­ing sec­tor af­ter the ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the par­ties reached a stale­mate.

The union ex­pects to get a de­ci­sion from the sec­tor this com­ing Satur­day, July 15. It said cur­rent wage agree­ments with the em­ploy­ers lapsed at the end of last month.

In 2014, Numsa went on strike af­ter talks for “a liv­ing wage” and “im­proved work­ing con­di­tions” in the metal sec­tor dead­locked. The union be­lieves that its de­mands are rea­son­able and ac­cused the em­ploy­ers for re­fus­ing to en­gage mean­ing­fully with its de­mands for a liv­ing wage and im­proved work­ing con­di­tions.

Irvin Jim, Numsa’s gen­eral sec­re­tary, said: “We de­mand a 15 per­cent wage in­crease across the board based on the ac­tual rate that work­ers are earn­ing, and not on the min­i­mum rate. Se­condly, we de­mand an ex­ten­sion of the cur­rent agree­ment for two years. In this pe­riod all out­stand­ing is­sues must be fi­nalised.”

He added that the union de­manded that the ex­ten­sion of the agree­ment must in­clude par­ties such as Na­tional Em­ploy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa and Plas­tic Con­vert­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa, who fall un­der the Metal and En­gi­neer­ing In­dus­tries Bar­gain­ing Coun­cil.

Numsa said it had a man­date from its 29 000 work­ers in the sec­tor to ne­go­ti­ate bet­ter wages and work­ing con­di­tions for its mem­bers and their fam­i­lies.

Tough cli­mate

The talks also come at the back­drop of tough eco­nomic cli­mate in the coun­try as the econ­omy is hardly grow­ing with un­em­ploy­ment rate stand­ing at a stag­ger­ing 27.7 per­cent.

In ad­di­tion to the coun­try’s woes, the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund pre­dicted that South Africa’s econ­omy was ex­pected to grow by less than 1 per­cent this year.

Numsa ac­cused the em­ploy­ers of try­ing to im­ple­ment a min­i­mum rate of R20 per hour for new en­trants to the sec­tor while em­ploy­ers are of­fer­ing an in­creased based on the min­i­mum wage rate – a deal that the union is not happy with.

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