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Johannesburg, 4 September 2018 – Parties to the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) today voted overwhelmingly in favour of the extension of the three-year agreement reached in the metals and engineering sector in 2017.

During an historic meeting of the parties at the MEIBC this morning, during which all employer organisations registered with the council were in attendance:

  • The five-trade unions that are party to the council –  namely, Mewusa, Numsa, Saewa, Solidarity and Uasa – all supported the extension of the Main Agreement to non-parties; and
  • The 21-SEIFSA affiliated Employer Organisations and the Plastics Converters Association of South Africa (PCA-SA), whose membership collectively employ the overwhelming majority of the employees employed by all the members of the employers’ organisations that are party to the bargaining council, voted in favour of extension.

Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Operations Director Lucio Trentini said that the employer parties supporting the extension of the 2017-2020 Agreement represented 65% of the employees working for companies registered with the MEIBC, with SEIFSA members alone representing 58% of those employees.

Mr Trentini revealed that  the latest determination of the representativeness of the MEIBC issued by the Department of Labour in terms of Section 49 of the Labour Relations Act had shown that of the 424 365 employees in the industry, a total of 277 602 (65,4%) worked for the employers’ organisations that are party to the bargaining council.

“The SEIFSA-affiliated employer Associations alone represent 58% of those employees,” he said.

According to the Department of Labour’s determination of representatives, NEASA represents 19% of employees working for companies registered with the council, the Plastics Converters’ Association of SA represents 11%, the South African Engineers and Founders Association represents 6%, the Confederation of Employers Organisation represents 4%, the Federated Employers Organisation of SA represents 1%, and the South Africa United Commercial & Allied Employers Organisation represents 1%.

“In the case of a section 32 extension, where an agreement is negotiated and concluded by bargaining agents who represent and employ the majority of employees falling within the council’s coverage, the extension of a bargaining council agreement is seen as a reasonable and necessary mechanism of sectoral collective bargaining,” said Mr Trentini.

He referred to the finding by Judge  John Murphy, who had ruled, on behalf of a full bench of the North Gauteng (Pretoria) High Court in the 2016 Free Market Foundation (FMF) v Minister of Labour & Others Judgment, that the extension of a bargaining council’s collective agreement was legal, provided that one or more registered trade union/s whose members constitute the majority of the members of the trade unions that are party to the bargaining council vote in favour of the extension, and one or more registered employers’ organisations, whose members employ the majority of the employees employed by the members of the employers’ organisations that are party to the bargaining council, vote in favour of the extension.

During the MEIBC meeting this morning,

  • The five-trade unions that are party to the council –  namely, Mewusa, Numsa, Saewa, Solidarity and Uasa – all supported the extension of the Main Agreement to non-parties; and
  • The 21-SEIFSA affiliated Employer Organisations and the Plastics Converters Association of South Africa (PCA-SA), whose membership collectively employ the overwhelming majority of the employees employed by all the members of the employers’ organisations that are party to the bargaining council, voted in favour of extension.

Together, the 21 SEIFSA-affiliated Associations – which represent small, medium and big businesses across the sector – and the Plastics Converters Association of South Africa (PCA-SA) account for 69% of all employees employed by all the employer organisations on the bargaining council.

Mr Trentini explained that the Collective Main Agreement concluded on 23 August 2017 between the 21 SEIFSA-affiliated employers’ organisations and the industries’ five trade unions, for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020, will now be submitted to the Department of Labour with a request for the Minister of Labour to gazette the Agreement and make it legally binding on all employers falling within its scope (excluding the plastics sector as defined) and scheduled employees in the industry.

 

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala

Communications Consultant

Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725

Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za

Web: https://meindaba.seifsa.co.za/

 

SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 23 independent employer Associations in the metals and engineering industries, with a combined membership of 1600 companies employing around 200 000 employees. The Federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.

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