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CAPE TOWN - The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (LIMUSA) is not surprised but rather shocked by the recent settlements agreement in the Metal and Engineering Bargaining Council.

According to a statement by LIMUSA, the agreement will increase wages by 7%.

LIMUSA also stated that "The development has become a norm in the metal industry were compromised agreement are concluded in board rooms. It is not a coincidence that in the history of the metal industry that the three main sectors e.g. Auto, Motor, and Engineering had concluded agreements without workers lifting a figure to employers."

They said it is a fact that the settlements represent a decline in terms of the achievements when compared to previous bargaining rounds.

"There is no improvement factor in these settlements therefore in real terms the wages of workers are not increasing at all," LIMUSA said

"These settlements are led by the pseudo militant union which rejected 9 % in bus sector early this year which was led by SATAWU. Their hypocrisy has been exposed as they could not reach even 8% in the industry which they are a majority without even a strike while claiming to be the most militant in the land."

The metal industry according to LIMUSA is facing a serious number of challenges particularly Metal and Engineering.

The union referred to the challenge in courts on collective agreements as well as the Council being under administration due to financial challenges.

This development vindicates LIMUSA's view on the importance of industry dedicated union. 

"The real reasons the metal workers are not striking anymore is that the so called biggest metalworkers cannot take a strike because of financial challenges, dictatorship by one leader and leadership divisions, neglect of engineering sector and focussing on new industries and ideological confusion amongst other things."

The union said these challenges originate from the 2014 December Special Congress changing a metal workers union into a general workers union which organises all the workers.

LIMUSA, however, called upon metal workers to join as a means to ensure that the future and dignity of metalworkers and the industry is safeguarded.

"LIMUSA is in process of being party to the Council to ensure that the next round of negotiations metal workers has a voice that is caring inside the process," the union concluded.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE