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Numsa strike to continue for now, press conference on Sunday

[Source: The Citizen] [Source: The Citizen]

Govan Whittles writes that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has reportedly rejected the latest offer from steel and engineering companies to end a wage strike that's now in its second week.

This according to EWN.

The union is demanding a 15% salary increase for about 200,000 members who have downed tools, while companies have offered between 8% and 10%.  Other demands include a R1,000 housing allowance, career and training opportunities for all workers and the banning of labour brokers.  Numsa's leadership met with employer bodies this week in a meeting facilitated by the Department of Labour and last night, the union's national executive committee met to discuss the matter. 

Numsa treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo indicated that the official outcome of the talks will be communicated on Sunday, but for now the strike would continue.  “The strike is still on.  Last night we had a national executive committee meeting where a report was received from our members.  That report will be communicated to the entire nation on Sunday in a press conference.”  There have been widespread reports of violence, intimidation, vandalism and damage to property since the strike began and around 111 people have been arrested.

In other news, the National Employers' Association of SA (Neasa) in a statement on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and big business for bringing the metal and engineering industries sector to its knees. This according to Fin24.

Numsa and a number of smaller unions are engaged in a national wage strike, which commenced on 1 July.  There are seven employer federations and six unions at the bargaining council table.  However, the size of the Steel and Engineering Federation of SA (Seifsa) and Numsa means that they mostly determine the outcomes.  A newly revised offer from Seifsa has been put forward, but the details have not been made public.

Neasa, which represents primarily small and medium-size businesses, on Thursday slammed Seifsa and Numsa.  It called on Numsa to end protesting violently and stop intimidating workers who were not participating in the strike and called on employers not to budge at the negotiating table.  “Employers bowing to the unlawful violence and intimidation are creating a bleak future for themselves.  The repeated surrendering to unlawful action has created a Metal Industry in self-destruction mode, an Industry on a downward slope,” said Neasa CEO Gerhard Papenfus.

He went on to say, “We are now paying dearly for those cosy deals between weak employer representatives, big business and big trade unions, over decades, which have brought a once mighty Industry to the brink of destruction” and that “the same model of self-destroying negotiations is once again taking place in these negotiations.  The same big employers are pushing for a deal at all cost.”  Neasa indicated that should any deal between Numsa and Seifsa be enforced on its members by the labour minister, it would challenge that outcome in in court.

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