Members will be aware that NUMSA is in dispute with the SEIFSA affiliated Associations, NEASA, SAEFA and the CEO. Having received the certificate of non-resolution, the only procedural step preventing NUMSA from being able to issue the 48 hours’ notice of strike action is sign-off on a set of agreed picketing rules.

At this morning’s MEIBC/ CCMA facilitated meeting held between all of the parties, the employer organisations were not agreeable to signing-off on a draft set of rules tabled by NUMSA. The employer organisations unanimously agreed that in response to the draft rules tabled by NUMSA, the CCMA Commissioner, guided by the applicable provisions of the Labour Relations Act (attached), the Disaster Management Act and Regulations or Directions governing the management and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, should instead determine the rules for the parties.

The CCMA facilitator agreed and has undertaken to do so by no later than Sunday, 3 October. The moment we receive the default picketing rules we will immediately circulate them to the membership. In the interim please familiarise yourselves with the attached extract from the Labour Relations Act.

Having dispensed with this procedural step we now expect NUMSA to serve notice of its intention to engage in a protected strike commencing with a march to Metal Industries House on Tuesday, 5 October. Once we receive this notice we will formally respond with a notice of lock-out in response to the strike, thereby reserving the right of the membership to implement a lock-out, should a company wish to do so. We will circulate the strike notice and the lock-out notice the moment we receive formal notification from NUMSA.

In the interim, SEIFSA, through the duly appointed Negotiating Team is continuing to test and explore all possible settlement possibilities with organised labour in an endeavour to limit the damage industrial action will inflict on the sector. Unfortunately, it is now clear that the action on Tuesday next week will proceed.

We will continue to keep all members fully informed as developments unfold.