Trade unions registered with the Metals and Engineering Industry Bargaining Council (MEIBC) have undertaken to take SEIFSA’s proposal for the deferral of the 2020 negotiations and that the terms and conditions of the current Main Agreement be extended until 30 June 2021 to their respective members across the country.
The proposal to roll over the current Main Agreement was tabled at an MEIBC management committee meeting last week and was duly noted by all the trade unions. The unions did not table any demands or counter-proposal. Instead, they have undertaken to take the proposal back to their respective structures and internal report-back mechanisms.
We expect to hear from the trade unions next week.
A rolling over of the current terms and conditions of employment over the next 12 months would not include any adjustment to wage levels.
At last week’s MEIBC Management Committee Meeting, Solidarity suggested the establishment a COVID-19 Crisis Committee within the structures of the MEIBC in order to assist, in whatever way possible, distressed employers and employees struggling to survive the current crisis. The SEIFSA- affiliated employer Associations represented on the MEIBC have pledged their in-principle support to such a structure being created as a matter of urgency.
In the interim, there is a high probability that some member companies may receive requests from various trade unions to be granted access in order to brief their respective members. While we urge members to grant such access, subject to reasonable and necessary conditions to safeguard life or property or to prevent undue disruption of work, we advise that such report-back meetings must comply strictly with the measures introduced under the National Disaster Regulations to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19. These include the prohibition of gatherings involving more than 50 persons, as well as the need to wear masks and observe the 1,5m social distance.
We also call on all member companies to continue to observe – in good faith – the current terms and conditions of the Main Agreement that expired on 30 June 2020.
Further updates will be issued as new information become available.
Kaizer M. Nyatsumba
Chief Executive Officer