The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has welcomed a settlement agreement it signed with KwaZulu-Natal-based aluminium semi-fabricator and exporter, Hulamin.
JSE-listed Hulamin on Friday had notified its shareholders that an agreement was reached and said the company expected to be fully operational this week.
Numsa members went on strike on July 10, to demand an increase in the medical aid and provident fund contributions from the employer.
“We are pleased to confirm that we were able to find each other on these two crucial issues, and end the strike,” Numsa General Secretary Irwin Jim, said in a statement yesterday.
Part of the dispute that triggered the strike was the fact that the union wanted the employer to equalise the pension and provident fund contributions.
There is an in-house pension fund to which some workers belong called the Hulamin Pension Fund to which the employer was contributing 12.5%. However, when it came to the provident fund contribution to the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), known as the MIBFA fund, which most of the workforce subscribe to, the employer was only contributing 7.9%.
“Our members demanded that the bosses must ensure that they equalise the contribution by increasing it from 7.9% to 12.5%,” said Jim.
The strike helped to secure this demand, because instead of the employer phasing in this increase over 3 years, the increase was immediate, he said.
In addition, the employer agreed to increase its medical aid contribution to 49.5% from a cap of 40% previously.
Jim said all workers had returned to work from July 22, when the agreement was signed. Numsa represents about 1 050 members of the 1 800 workforce at Hulamin.
Hulamin in March recorded a 22% revenue increase for the year to December 2022. Normalised operating profit grew to R564.6 million from R65m the previous year.
The stronger results were due to better trading conditions, an improved sales mix, increased pricing, a weaker exchange rate and a stable cost base, which saw normalised headline earnings per share increase by 28% to 105 cents.