Union submits metals wage offer

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LabourCrossing Reuters.

Johannesburg - A reviewed wage proposal has been submitted to the Metal and Engineering Industry Bargaining Council (MEIBC), trade union Solidarity said on Sunday.

The proposal was made after facilitation with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the labour department, Solidarity's metal and engineering sector head Marius Croucamp said in a statement.

The new proposal included a three-year agreement with an increase of eight percent for workers on wage rate A in year one and two, 10 percent for wage rates F, G and H for year one.

A 10 percent increase in year two wage rate G and H and a eight percent increase for wage rate A in year three and 10 percent for wage rate H in year three.

“The department of labour’s proposal differs from that of organised labour in that workers on wage rate A will receive a 7.5 percent and seven percent increase in years two and three as per the department’s proposal,” said Croucamp.

“This differs from the 8 percent organised labour proposed for these particular years of the agreement.”

He said the proposal was made by all unions, which included the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Uasa.

Croucamp said the parties were close to reaching an agreement.

However, Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said the metalworkers' union had sent a final offer to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa) and would only make a statement on Tuesday.

“We want to respect Seifsa having to consult their counsel on Monday,” he said.

Numsa members in the metal and engineering industries downed tools on July 1, initially demanding a salary increase of 12 percent, dropped from their pre-strike demand of 15 percent.

They also demanded a R1000 housing allowance, and a total ban on labour brokers.

The union announced on Sunday it had lowered its wage demand to 10 percent.

On Wednesday, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant met Numsa and Seifsa for further talks.

She said this was to spare the economy another protracted strike, following the five-month strike in the platinum industry.

In the first week of the strike, she facilitated talks between the parties. - Sapa

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