With the strike in its eighth day, lost wages exceeding R 100 million and production in all likelihood, five times that number, the SEIFSA negotiating team is continuing to do everything in its power to find a fair, sensible and sustainable solution to the impasse.

This notwithstanding, SEIFSA cannot condone the rampant acts of violence, intimidation and indiscriminate attacks on fellow workers exercising their constitutional right to work. Indiscriminate, blatant and completely unacceptable criminal acts of destruction to plant, equipment and valuable infrastructure cannot ever be tolerated.

SEIFSA is in urgent talks with the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), which is the coordinating body of all security and law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including the SA Police Force, SANDF, Metro Police etc. We will be pressing for an urgent roll-out, across the country, of more feet on the ground, visible, active and properly resourced and coordinated resources targeted at blatant acts of thuggery. We are in the process of finalising the identification of various hot-spots around the country and a plan of action with contact persons and roll-out of the intervention will be communicated shortly.

This morning the SEIFSA Council, having taken careful stock of the situation, took a unanimous decision to endorse an improved offer to settle on the following terms:

  • A three (3) year deal;
  • Guaranteed personal increases to workers on a rands/ cents amount in each of the three years of the agreement;
  • Rate A workers (artisans) in years 1, 2 and 3 will receive a guaranteed personal increase of R 4,24; R 4,45; R 4,67 per hour respectively;
  • Rate H workers (general labourers) in years 1, 2, and 3 will receive a guaranteed personal increase of R 2,97; R 3,15 and R 3,34 per hour; 
  • In principle support for the gazettal and extension of the Main Agreement to all non-party employers and employees falling under the scope of the Main Agreement; and
  • A special phase-in dispensation for employers and employees who have been operating outside of the scope of the Main Agreement.

For a general labourer the total cost to company moves to a minimum of R 12 734,00 per month. Given the current economic and trading conditions and economic data tracking the performance of the sector over the last 24 months, we believe the improved offer is more than fair, equitable and sustainable.

As the strike and lock out continues to play out in the industry, SEIFSA’s negotiation team, will continue to push for a settlement as quickly as possible. The longer the posturing and refusal to close continues, the more jobs will eventually be lost, in an industry which should be doing everything possible to protect each and every job in the sector.

Again, we kindly remind the membership to ensure that all necessary precautions and contingency plans are in place, reviewed and where necessary revised. Unfortunately, it does look like another week may be lost.

Should you have any queries, questions and/ or concerns during this difficult period please contact the Staff of the Industrial Relations Division on (011) 298-9400 who will assist.

As we continue this journey, we are acutely aware of what is at stake. Not just for our members but for the entire industry. We are at a cross roads and the lines in the sand have been drawn. It is regrettable and unfortunate but we have a duty to protect our industry from ever increasing costs of doing business, which do nothing more than make the sector increasingly uncompetitive. Tragically we are witnesses to a sector that is slowly beginning to show some growth, which is being eroded by the events of the last eight days. It is a great tragedy that what is unfolding is in no one’s best interests, least of all our employees, most of whom want to work.

In closing, I again take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the Negotiating Team, the Associations and most importantly you, our loyal affiliated member. I can assure each and every one of you that we remain committed and resolute to closing this round of negotiations, within mandate and with as little destruction to our economic base as possible.

We will continue to keep all members fully informed as developments unfold over the next few days.

Stay safe and remain vigilant.