With wage negotiations in the metals and engineering sector coming to a standstill, Solidarity fears that if a strike is the result it would jeopardise the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), the trade union said on Thursday.
Trade unions and employers reached a deadlock with the MEIBC about three weeks ago regarding wage negotiations in the industry.
According to Solidarity deputy general secretary Marius Croucamp, a strike will result in a loss of income for the bargaining council, which could bring it to its knees. “A strike will mean that the bargaining council won’t be able to cover its costs from levies paid by employers and employees, which is critical to fulfilling its functions. Projections indicate that such a strike may halve the MEIBC's revenue for the month. The consequences resulting from this will shake the industry to its very core,” Croucamp said.
Solidarity wished to continue with negotiations and, therefore, requested a 30-day extension in the negotiation process. “We urge trade unions and employers to stay committed to the collective bargaining process,” he added.
Croucamp noted that some of the employers offered a 5.3% increase, while employers’ organisations Neasa and Border withdrew their wage offer. “Although Solidarity asked for a 10% increase, the trade union is determined to ensure the long-term success of the industry and, therefore, it is willing to continue with the wage negotiations,” he explained.