Safcec, unions to meet Labour Minister on construction strike
Construction|Engineering|Gautrain|Industrial|PROJECT|Projects|Water|Gautrain|Building|Possible Solution|Gautrain|Gautrain|Joe Campanella|Marius Moloto|Membathisi Mdladlana|Water|World Cup|Golf
© Reuse this
Labour unions and the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) would meet with Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana on Thursday to discuss a possible solution to the nation wide strike.
“We will go there with an open mind. We are open to explore areas of settlement,” said the Building, Construction and Allied Workers Union (BCAWU) spokesperson Marius Moloto.
However, he added that the strike would continue, despite further negotiations. “The strike will go ahead until a settlement is reached, only then will we call it off.”
Safcec spokesperson Joe Campanella has confirmed that strategic projects such as the 2010 stadiums, airports and the Gautrain have been targeted by strike action with some other projects also being affected.
“Safcec remains concerned about the effect that the current industrial action will have on the 2010 World Cup and has reaffirmed its commitment to finding a solution. Safcec has been available throughout the past weeks to the unions for discussion and remains available,” Campanella said.
Thousands of workers started a nationwide strike on Wednesday afternoon, after wage negotiations broke down earlier this month. The unions were demanding a 13% increase in wages, as well as other benefits, while Safcec was offering a 10,4% raise.
However, Campanella told Engineering News Online that the demands made by the unions equalled a 65% wage increase. He noted that the unions had negotiated on a package basis, which not only included a 13% raise in minimum wages, but also annual bonuses, paid maternity leave and reduced working hours without the loss of pay.
“This will have a huge cost impact on both the small and big companies, imagine a 65% increase in your wages,” Campanella said.
Moloto countered that the unions and the workers did not equate their other demands with a monetary value. “The minimum salaries are very low, so you can’t make that argument with a worker. They understand what goes into their pocket, not how it builds up into the employer’s total cost.”
He added that the higher wages would also not affect the employers directly, as the client would ultimately have to foot the bill. “After all, the clients pay, the wages do not come out of the employer’s good will or out of his own pockets. When the employers tender for a project, the total costs are added to that tender, so the cost is carried through to the clients. They cannot tell you they are doing it out of their pockets, the argument doesn’t carry water.”
Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has pledged its support to the construction workers’ strike.
“The federation shares the National Union of Mineworker’s anger at Safcec’s assertion that they cannot give workers an additional 3% because they are building stadiums for what is largely a ‘poor man’s game’ and that if these workers were building golf courses it would have been different,” Cosatu said in a statement.
The congress noted that the dispute was not targeting the World Cup venues, but was a normal dispute within the entire sector.
“Cosatu, and the construction workers, are as passionate about the 2010 World Cup as anyone, and will do everything possible to ensure its success. But we will not tolerate the stadiums being built by workers who are underpaid or working in dangerous or unhealthy conditions.”
Edited by: Mariaan Webb
© Reuse this
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Labour and Skills Development News
Driver training is one of the single biggest interventions that can salvage the tarnished reputation of the transport sector, which is currently seen as a high-risk industry owing to the number of buses and trucks causing carnage on South African roads, says...
Samcra is regulating the industry to benefit metal roofing professionals
Metal roofing industry body Southern African Metal Cladding and Roofing Association (Samcra), a division of the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction, completed the draft of the new standard for cladding, aimed at assisting engineers and specifiers with...
Between 2008 and 2010, only 4% of students in sub-Saharan Africa graduated with engineering and construction degrees
The skills shortage in the oil and gas development sector in Southern Africa was hampering economic development in the region, said University of the Witwatersrand Business School head and director Steve Bluen at a skills development seminar, in Johannesburg, earlier...
Industrialisation remains a major part of the South African developmental agenda and an important vehicle towards achieving the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) target of creating 100 black industrialists in the next five years, Trade and Industry...
The construction of a new innovation hub in the heart of the Dube TradePort, in Durban, was set to kick off in March 2016, as Dube TradePort Corporation sealed a R160-million lease agreement with Eureka Capital. Eureka Capital planned to develop a seven-storey 21 500...
South Africa will become the first African country to host the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) Steel Committee Conference when the committee’s seventy-seventh session takes place in Cape Town between December 11 and 12. The...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
The MOM incubator was designed to help babies in developing nations who were dying in conflict-struck nations or who do not receive hospital care
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.