Seifsa proposes new wage offer amid violent strike action

Numsa strike

Photo by Reuters

18th October 2021

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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After taking stock of the extent to which violence and intimidation has occurred amid striking metals union workers for the last ten days, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has decided to endorse an improved offer to settle.

The strike follows a deadlock declared between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Seifsa since early August and failed meetings subsequently to reach agreement on a wage offer. 

Numsa announced it would embark on a national strike in the engineering sector from October 5, starting with a national march.

After sharing the results of a strike violence survey with the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, including the extent of damage to property and infrastructure among employers and the potential effects of the strike on the economy, Seifsa has now proposed a new three-year deal.

The federation proposed that artisans receive a guaranteed wage increase of R4.24 an hour in year one, R4.45 an hour in year two and R4.67 an hour in year three.

Further, it proposed that general labourers receive a guaranteed wage increase of R2.97 an hour in year one, R3.15 an hour in year two and R3.34 an hour in year three.

Seifsa will still offer the initial special phase-in dispensation for employers and employees who have been operating outside of the scope of the main agreement, which Numsa fundamentally disagreed with, saying it would be used as a basis for unfair pay or even unfair dismissal.

The federation says it cannot condone rampant acts of violence, intimidation and indiscriminate attacks on fellow workers exercising their right to work.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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