4th Jul 2011 at 9:58 pm #38959
NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA
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.
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.
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:
153 Bree Street P.O. Box 260483
corner Gerard Sekoto Street Excom 2023
Johannesburg 2001 Tel: 011-689 1700
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax: 011-834 4320
email@example.com 011-833 6330
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