Numsa makes progress in auto sector talks | Fin24

Numsa makes progress in auto sector talks

Sep 13 2016 17:12
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) in the automotive industry have reached an agreement in terms of its negotiations with automakers.

Following a media briefing on Tuesday, Numsa released a statement on the progress of its negotiations in the auto sector.

Read: Carmakers, union sign wage deal to avert strike

Provisions in the agreement include a total wage increase of 35% spread over three years. Workers will also receive a transport allowance, currently at R1 200 per year. It is set to increase each year.

The agreement also made provision for a shift allowance of 20%, it is set to increase over the next three years. The union is also working on having a solution for housing to be developed.

Numsa said it would “move swiftly” to conclude the current round of negotiations in other sectors. This includes the motor sector and talks with Nampak and BHP Billiton.

“Nampak, the Plastics Converters Association of SA and electric cable manufacturers are pushing for separate bargaining chambers, which the Numsa Central Committee rejected, as this would be an attack on centralised bargaining. BHP Billiton’s attempt to down-vary the gains of workers was also rejected,” stated Numsa.

Talks with Eskom are continuing and should be finalised by 24 September. Currently there is an offer of a two-year agreement on a 10% increase for the lowest paid workers and 8.5% for the highest paid workers.

Numsa added that strike action is still on the cards if negotiations with employers do not settle. “We will never accept that workers must pay for the failures of the capitalist system by accepting concealed wage cuts.”

Failure to conclude agreements timeously have a rundown effect on other sectors. This can be seen in the motor sector which may impact the auto industry at large. 

The union stated that it cannot be blamed for the negative effects of strike action, but rather employers which “refuse to make reasonable offers”. This forces strikes to become the only option for members to take. 

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