More than 400 members on NUMSA is demonstrating for better wage increases at the Bellville South community centre. Workers affiliated with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) in the steel and engineering sector, started with their nationwide strike for higher wages. Numsa, one of the most prominent labour organisations in South Africa, is demanding an 8% wage increase in the first year and a 2% above-inflation increase in the subsequent two years but was only offered a 4% for the first year. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
More than 400 members on NUMSA is demonstrating for better wage increases at the Bellville South community centre. Workers affiliated with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) in the steel and engineering sector, started with their nationwide strike for higher wages. Numsa, one of the most prominent labour organisations in South Africa, is demanding an 8% wage increase in the first year and a 2% above-inflation increase in the subsequent two years but was only offered a 4% for the first year. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Steel, engineering industry body welcomes end of Numsa strike

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Gauteng - THE Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has welcomed the end of the strike led by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).

Numsa on Thursday announced that it had accepted Seifsa’s 6% salary increase offer after its special national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

However, the country’s biggest trade union promised to continue pursuing the struggle against what it called the broad daylight robbery of the labour surplus value of the real producers of wealth – the workers.

Numsa reminded the country that its struggle was to advance humanity, not greed and the maximisation of profit for a few at the expense of the majority.

”It is within this deeper and sober analysis that the Numsa special NEC convened last night and decided to accept the current 6% on minimums, despite our earlier demand that it must be given on actuals,” the union said.

According to Seifsa, the deal will cover the period between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2024, and is in full and final settlement of wages and conditions of employment.

”Wages during the three-year period will be adjusted on average by 5.49%, with a general labourer receiving 6% and artisans 5% calculated on rand and cents on the scheduled rates,” the federation said.

Numsa defended its initial demands of 15%, which the union later compromised to 8%, and has now compromised further to 6%.

Its general secretary, Irvin Jim, said Numsa was justified in its demand for an increase on actual rates of pay because engineering workers not only deserved an increase of 6% on actuals, but they had earned that increase.

”Seifsa, as a federation representing employer associations that employ the majority of workers in the engineering sector, missed an opportunity to use its majority to break with the racist past,” Jim said.

Workers in the industry are currently paid hourly rates of between R49.55 and R84.75 across 13 grades, and this will increase to between R52.52 and R89 as of July this year.

In 2022/23 and 2023/24, the wages will increase to between R55.67 and R93.44 and R59 and R98.11, respectively.

Numsa has asked all employer associations to allow that its members to report for duty from Friday, October 22, and no later than Monday, October 25.

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Political Bureau

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