COSATU intended protest action 3 November 2023


Management may be aware, from recent media reports, that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), intends calling workers to support a socio-economic protest action on Friday, 3 November 2023.

Protest Action and the Labour Relations Act

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) permits registered trade unions or federations such as COSATU, to undertake protected protest action to promote the social and economic interests of workers provided that they observe the procedural requirements contained in Section 77 (1) (b) of the LRA 66 of 1995, as amended.

This application was duly considered by NEDLAC and the NEDLAC Section 77 Standing Committee has determined the notice to be NOT compliant with the administrative requirements of the LRA.

Consequently, any employees participating in any action on 3 November 2023 will NOT be protected by the normal rules regarding protected strike-action.

Management Guidelines on Possible Absenteeism on Friday, 3 November 2023:

SEIFSA recommends that management adopt the following course of action in dealing with any stay-away from work on the 3rd November:

  • Inform all workers that any absences related to the protest action will be treated on the following basis:
  • no work, no pay;
  • That management reserves the right to take disciplinary action for participation in the protest action including any misconduct during the protest;
  • a shift for leave-pay and leave-enhancement pay qualification purposes will be lost in respect of the day’s absence; and
  • any overtime worked during the course of the week will be paid at ordinary rates to make up for the lost ordinary working hours from Friday, 3rd November 2023.

Notice to NEDLAC on the intention to proceed with protest action.pdf
Letter of notice


The Staff of the SEIFSA Industrial Relations Division are available on (011) 298-9400 to provide any further advice and/ or assistance to management on the contents of this management brief.

Lucio Trentini
Chief Executive Officer

Now would be a good time to join SEIFSA

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) proudly celebrates its 80th Anniversary this year and despite the many difficulties and successes experienced by our membership over this period, we remain the most authoritative voice of the metals and engineering sector.

We have been very vocal in articulating the concerns of the sector, both publicly in the media as well as in meetings with various influential stakeholders, including in Government. Whenever Government Departments and other stakeholders are keen to solicit the input of the sector or to hear its views on various matters, they approach SEIFSA.

SEIFSA is a National Employer Federation representing the views of its 18 independent Employer Associations in the metal and engineering industries, with a combined membership of over 1 200 companies employing over 170 000 employees. Through its affiliated Employer Associations, SEIFSA has a presence in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

As we approach the next round of industry negotiations in 2024, the individual member companies which are members of one of the Employer Associations federated to SEIFSA will once again bear the burden of delivering an agreement that strikes a balance between the interests of both employers and employees in the industry.

SEIFSA is working hard to ensure that next year's negotiations will not be a repeat of what happened in 2021. It is vitally important that the settlement agreement to be reached next year is realistic and informed by the current state of our economy and our sector, preferably without us first having to go through another round of industrial action.

The majority of companies affiliated to our member Associations employ fewer than 50 employees. They will demand a settlement that is affordable and guarantees the survival of the industry.

Your affiliation to SEIFSA, through your Association, not only grants you immediate access to a range of professional product and service offerings, but also gives you a direct line of communication into SEIFSA to insist that any deal that is struck next year is reached with minimum disruption, if any.

As you may recall, the resolution of the strike in 2021 was delayed by the inability of two competitor employer organisations to find common cause with labour.  As a consequence, settlement was delayed by three weeks and ironically the SEIFSA membership bore the brunt of the ensuing strike action. The terms of the deal eventually signed by the SEIFSA membership (and the Consolidated Employers Organisation) was no different to what was tabled prior to the strike.

The 2021/2024 deal, drafted by the SEIFSA membership in collaboration with labour contains a number of breakthrough elements that are well worth preserving, namely: granting increases on Rands/ cents; exemption provisions designed to grant relief to struggling employers, a special phase-in dispensation to pay 60% of the 2020 rates by 30 June 2024, a clause providing protection against plant level bargaining and the element of a three year agreement designed to lock-down certainly, stability and industrial peace.

Whilst our competitors aimlessly spend their time in Court in the hope of trying to have the main agreement set-aside, we are hard at work laying the groundwork for what will undoubtedly be an important round of negotiations. Now would be a good time to affiliate to a winning team.

It is important to understand that individual companies do not join SEIFSA directly. SEIFSA is a Federation of affiliated Employer Associations which, in turn represent individual member companies in the various sub-sectors of the industry.

Upon joining an Association federated to SEIFSA, you are deemed to be a member of SEIFSA by affiliation and become entitled to the benefits set-out in the accompanying one-page summary.

If you are not already a member of one of the Associations federated to SEIFSA, now would be a good time to join. Together we are far stronger than individual employers and as a member of one of the Associations federated to SEIFSA, your voice will be heard.

Click here to join an Association affiliated to SEIFSA

Click here to see the benefits of joining SEIFSA

Lucio Trentini
Chief Executive Officer