“The Federation has always insisted that it was the bona fide representative of its member Associations, whom it has represented in the structures of the MEIBC throughout 70 of its 71 years of existence. We are delighted that the Labour Court has yet again upheld the rights of our employer Associations to designate SEIFSA as their representative in negotiations with labour,” SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.

The arbitration process regarding the determination of a formula to populate employer seats on the MEIBC started in September 2012 and is set to resume in January 2015.

“Associations affiliated to SEIFSA look forward to the conclusion of the arbitration process to bring stability within MEIBC structures in the country. We are confident that the formula used in other Bargaining Councils, in terms of which seats are allocated to employers on the basis of the number of people in their employ, will also apply in the MEIBC,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

The metals and engineering sector collective agreement entered into between SEIFSA – which represented 22 employer Associations –and six trade unions provides for amendments to wages and related terms and conditions of employment for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2014.

The agreement was concluded following an exhausting and gruelling round of collective bargaining negotiations culminating in a four-week strike, which brought the metal industries to a virtual standstill.

“Todays Court Judgment restores some certainty and stability into the system and places the prospect of further unnecessary labour relations disruptions and economic harm on the back-burner,” said SEIFSA Operations Director Lucio Trentini.

Mr Trentini added that SEIFSA will continue to support the Bargaining Council in seeking the promulgation of the Agreement by the Minister of Labour.

“We will do everything in our powers to offer assistance and guidance, through the Bargaining Council national exemptions policy, to individual employers who find difficulty in implementing elements of the agreement,” Mr Trentini said.