Employers accept pay deal for metalworkers Jul 22 2014 11:22 Striking Numsa members. (File photo, Sapa) Related Articles Talks resume to end metalworker strike Union: Numsa should restrategise strike Labour department moots metals strike settlement Neasa rejects strike settlement proposal Fresh hope to end metalworkers strike SA union war follows old pattern on new turf Johannesburg- The main employer body in South Africa’s metals and engineering federation has accepted a government proposal to raise wages by as much as 10%, it said on Tuesday, raising hopes of an end to a strike by more than 200 000 workers. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) said unions led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have until Friday to accept the offer. Under the proposal put forward by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, Seifsa agreed to raise wages by between 7% and 10% over the next three years. Wage talks between the parties resumed on Tuesday in an effort to end a strike that is sapping the economy. The stoppage has disrupted the supply of car parts and affected construction work at two crucial power stations for state utility Eskom. “If they agree to it, then we must go to our members and indicate to them that this is how far we’ve gone as a union,” said Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese ahead of the meeting, who declined to give details of the proposal. The industrial action has dealt a further blow to the ailing economy, coming almost immediately after a five-month strike by miners in the platinum sector.
SEIFSA ISSUES NOTICE OF LOCK-OUT
- Published: 26 June 2014
SEIFSA has received the National Union of Metalworkers 48 hours’ notice to strike on wages and related substantive issues. The notice confirms that the strike will commence on Tuesday, 1 July 2014 in the form of a march in a number of Provinces. Thereafter there will be a total withdrawal of labour.
At its meeting on 23 June 2014, the SEIFSA Council approved a resolution authorizing the Federation to issue, on behalf of SEIFSA-affiliated employer Associations that are party to the Main Agreement of the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council, a 48-hour notice – in terms of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 – of their intention to implement a lock-out in response to the strike called by the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa commencing on Tuesday, 1 July 2014
The stoppage may also have emboldened other labour organisations.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the country’s biggest union with more than 200,000 members, is threatening to down tools from July 1, a move that would hobble the vital auto industry.
A halt to car manufacturing would hit exports, hammering an economy that contracted in the first quarter for the first time since a 2009 recession, while a weak rand pushed inflation above the top end of the central bank’s 3-6 percent target band.
“The key thing to watch is what happens with NUMSA. That would have a very negative impact on the economy,” said Peter Leon, a mining analyst at law firm Webber Wentzel.
AMCU’s strike dragged on so long partly because of entrenched mistrust between the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the mining companies and unions.
At their starkest, negotiations were overshadowed by the spectre of Marikana, the mining town where police shot dead 34 striking AMCU miners in August 2012, the worst violence against civilians since the end of apartheid 20 years ago.
Mining Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, who played an important mediation role after assuming office last month, says he wants to overhaul union-friendly labour laws to avoid another prolonged and nationally damaging stalemate.
“What we’re proposing is restructuring of the labour relations regime,” he told Reuters. “It’s not something that will happen quickly. That is a big deal and we do need everyone to buy into that.”
Mooted proposals include more government involvement, limiting the length of strikes or implementing pre-strike ballots, making it harder for union leaders to go on strike and reducing the intimidation that currently prevails.
The current series of labour strikes are having both a direct and indirect effect on the Group. Companies such as Hendor Mining, Phoenix Steel and Allan Maskew that deal with the mines are feeling the effects directly of the mine closures. Further, the transportation strike has had effects on all the companies, but more so the JHB companies, where the strikes were more intense. The overall impact of the Transportation strike has not been determined yet. It is a relief though that this strike has come to an end.
The indirect impacts of the labour strikes are numerous and varied, and include the runaway exchange rate that affects imports, a generally lackluster consumer environment, etc.
We will get a better view of the impact of the strikes in the next few months as the financial results are analysed.
Barrier Angelucci, the Argent subsidiary company that manufactures security and banking related products to the industry has acquired a contract to supply Mobile Banks to Standard Bank for their strategy to roll out banking facilities to the rest of Africa. (see the pictures below)
The vehicle is an all wheel drive, fitted with a generator for power, satellite dish for communications for the ATM, an ATM accessed from the rear of the vehicle and teller services in the body of the vehicle and customer access to the teller window.
News, events and Argent related matters will be posted here.