Johannesburg - The National Employers Association of SA (Neasa) will continue to lock-out workers in the metal sector until its demands have been dealt with, the employer body said on Tuesday.

“Last week, Neasa announced that its members would engage in a lock-out of union members who participated in the recent metal industry strike,” said spokeswoman Sya van der Walt-Potgieter in a statement.

“The reason for the lock-out is because Neasa's demands have not been considered during the recent industry negotiations.”

Neasa has refused to sign the recent wage settlement agreement that was reached between the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa), the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), and five other unions.

It wanted a standardised entry level wage and a revamped exemptions policy.

It also wanted an eight percent across the board salary increase.

Over 200,000 Numsa members in the metal and engineering sector downed tools on July 1, demanding a salary increase of 12 percent, down from their pre-strike demand of 15 percent.

They then revised their demand to 10 percent.

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

The strike ended on July 28, when unions accepted a wage increase of between eight percent and 10 percent, depending on whether they were high or low earners, over three years.

Van der Walt-Potgieter said Neasa represented 3000 members in the metal industry alone.

The majority of them were small and medium enterprises that together employed about 70,000 workers. - Sapa