High hopes that Numsa strike would end dashed by failed negotiations

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 Hopes to end a damaging strike by metalworkers have been dashed after negotiations with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and employers failed.Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) said on Tuesday it had withdrawn its final wage offer to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).”We have not promised Numsa to get back to it with a new offer. Instead, we made it clear that we have exhausted our mandate,” Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said in a statement.”We also explained, during our meeting with the Numsa leadership yesterday [Monday] morning, that the final offer made last week – which was intended to end the strike and to see employees back at work this week – failed to accomplish its goal and has since been withdrawn.”The conditional final offer, which Numsa rejected on Sunday, was a 10% wage increase in 2014, 9.5% in 2015 and 9% in 2016.

“It was made on condition that it would lead to a quick settlement that would see the current damaging industrial action, which has been accompanied by violence in some parts of the country, ended,” he said.

Nyatsumba said Seifsa reverted to its previous offer of a 10% increase in 2014 and 9% in 2015 and 2016.

For higher-earning artisans on level A, the offer remained 8% in 2014, 7.5% in 2015 and 7% in 2016.

“We are deeply concerned about the enormous damage wreaked on the economy by the strike, hence our determination last week to bring it to a speedy end.”

He said it was regrettable that the final offer was not accepted.

No follow-up meetings were scheduled with Numsa.

“The employers have withdrawn their offer but they’ve made an undertaking that they’re going to their chamber and they’ll come back to us before the end of the week,” Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said, reported Reuters.

He added that the union would meet on Tuesday to consider intensifying the strike.

Numsa members downed tools on July 1, initially demanding a salary increase of 12%, dropped from their pre-strike demand of 15%, a R1 000 housing allowance, and a total ban on labour brokers.

– Sapa with Reuters — NEWS 24

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 numsa  |  seifsa  |  labour disputes  |  strikes

 

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