NUMSA Memorandum to Seifsa

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    sylvia hammond



    Memorandum to SEIFSA

    4 July 2011



    The collective bargaining negotiations with the employers have been taking place within the context of

    the deepening failures of Capitalism and neo-liberal policies to resolve the

    persisting challenges of poverty, racialised development and escalating unemployment crisis amongst

    the vast majority of our people, affecting mostly black working class and the youth.

    Analysts claim that the South African economy is on the road to recovery from the brutal global

    capitalist crises yet working people and the unemployed continue to suffer triple crises of

    stubborn unemployment, deepening levels of inequality and poverty.


    Whereas government social grants are meant to be a redistributive tool to combat poverty, it

    is a known fact that it is the employed that subsidizes and supports their families on their meager



    Wage negotiations with Metal & Engineering employers broke down with employers refusing to offer

    real wage increases and their refusal to outlaw modern slavery by labour brokers in the engineering



    In 2011, metal and engineering employers have decided to attack the hard won gains of workers

    with proposals to down vary benefits and conditions of employment in the engineering industry.

    Furthermore neo liberal propositions were put forward which will effectively see a two tier labour

    market introduced. This despite the fact that neo liberal policies have been discredited all over

    the world. The menu of downward variation and two tier labour proposals can be seen in the

    following employer proposals;


    Survival of the Industry – Employers want SMME’s to be defined as companies employing less

    than 50 workers. In addition they want automatic exemption for such employers.


    Total Cost of Employment – Employers suggest that in addition to wages, the trade union demands are

    exceeding 38%. This particular claim would be used as a basis to advance single digit increases.


    Atypical Work – Employers are saying that they will protect their right to have access to flexible

    employment practices and the use of labour broking arrangements currently provided for by the

    MEIBC Main Agreement.


    Entry Level Grade – Employers are coming back with their demand for entry level rates of pay

    i.e. 40% less than grade H. They are clearly jumping on the bandwagon of the government’s youth



    Increase in working hours – Employers want the industry to move from 40 hour back to 45 hours

    of work per week


    A key question to be asked is – how much buying power does workers have since 2007? The answer

    is none at all. In fact, workers across industries will be worse off than they were in mid 2007.

    Workers covered by the MEIBC are likely to have almost 6% less purchasing power than they did in

    July 2007. Workers in the automobile and motor industries are likely to be almost 10% worse off

    than they were three years ago. An increase of 14.6% in the MEIBC would be needed just to make

    sure that workers are not worse off by the middle of 2011 than they were in 2007.


    Numsa has resolved that we shall strike until our demands are met. Our outstanding demands are:


    1.   Duration and Cycle of Agreement


    The period of operation of this agreement must be two years.


    2.   Wages


    Increase of 13% effective from 1st July 2011 to 2012 and 13% from 1st July 2012 to 2013. To be duly

    backdated for whatever reasons of delay.


    3.   Labour Brokers


    We demand a total ban of labour brokers.


    4.   One day testing


    We demand that all testing for medical conditions be extended to all diseases.


    5.   Workers’ Rights


    We demand that there be general meetings for workers, F T S/S and HS FT S/S/ and a minimum of

    twenty days (20) paid time off for shopstewards.


    6.   Family Responsibility Leave


    We demand that family responsibility leave be extended to five (5) days per occurrence. This must

    be extended to in-laws and immediate families.


    7.   Section 33 of the Main Agreement


    We demand that the notification for any change of technology be increased to twelve (12) months.


    8.   Shift allowance


    We demand that transport must be paid by the employers and that there be an implementation of a 20%

    allowance for night shift workers.


    In conclusion:


    It is now entirely up to the engineering and metal employers to resolve the reasonable demands of

    metalworkers so that we can go forward in addressing the challenges in the Industry Policy Forum (IPF)

    so that decent jobs can decent wages can be created and retained.


    Received by Seifsa/ employer representative:



    Numsa representative:



    Date:          ______________________________


    153 Bree Street                                                             P.O. Box 260483

    corner Gerard Sekoto Street                                           Excom 2023


    Johannesburg 2001                                                     Tel:  011-689 1700

    E-mail: or                                      Fax: 011-834 4320                                                      011-833 6330



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