SEIFSA recommends implementation of final offer.

Wage Negotations Update Issue 4

With the strike in its tenth day and given that Solidarity and UASA have accepted the final offer, the SEIFSA Council has unanimously endorsed a recommendation that affiliated member companies begin implementing the final offer as from tomorrow.

Whilst we request individual member companies to be guided by this recommendation, we nevertheless implore member companies to be guided by circumstances and the prevailing industrial relations climate on each and every shop floor.

Of the five trade unions that have bargained with SEIFSA, Solidarity and UASA have indicated their acceptance of the offer. SAEWA have confirmed their rejection of the final offer but are not out on strike. NUMSA and MEWUSA remain on strike. Accordingly, a company may be faced with one, some or all of the following scenarios:

  • None of your employees are members of any trade union; 
  • Some of your employees are unionised;
  • If unionised, and your employees belong to NUMSA or MEWUSA, all of your NUMSA and MEWUSA employees are out on strike;
  • Most or some of your employees have continued to work during the strike;
  • Most of your employees, barring NUMSA and MEWUSA members, have wanted to work but were prevented from doing so and/or where unable to report for duty and/or management took a decision, for reasons related to their personal safety and protection and sent employees home.

Should you elect to implement the final offer, the implications of this will be as follows:

  • All scheduled employees, except for NUMSA and MEWUSA members, must receive the increase, as set out in the attached wage schedule, effective from date of implementation;
  • Implementation of the final offer must not be extended to NUMSA and MEWUSA members, as NUMSA and MEWUSA is still on a protected strike and they have not signed the agreement. Therefore employees who are members of NUMSA and MEWUSA whether they are on strike or not, must not receive the final wage increase, unless;
  • An individual NUMSA or MEWUSA member elects to abandon his/her participation in the strike and before being allowed back into the factory, he/she signs the attached undertaking – no other demand/s must be made on the employee.

Implementation of the final offer for all of the above employees implies that they are entitled to back-pay from 1 July 2021. As backpay is a matter for discussion and agreement between management and employees at individual company level, it is recommended that backpay remain a matter for discussion until after the strike has ended.

With regards to implementation, we ask all member companies to please implement the final offer as a guaranteed Rands/ cents amount.

SEIFSA has shared the details around the plan of action emanating from urgent discussions 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 and Metro Police, that took place over the weekend.

Our aim is to see more feet on the ground, visible, active, properly resourced and coordinated resources targeted at acts of violence, intimidation, destruction to plant, equipment and valuable infrastructure and indiscriminate attacks on fellow workers exercising their constitutional right to work. 

As the strike and lock out continues into another week, we have consistently communicated that the longer the posturing and refusal to settle on the part of NUMSA continues, the more jobs will eventually be lost in an industry that should instead be doing everything possible to protect each and every valuable 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 will 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 this saga plays out, 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.

In closing, I again take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our loyal affiliated membership. I can assure you that we remain committed and resolute to settling 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.

Stay safe and remain vigilant.

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JOHANNESBURG, 15 June 2014 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has noted media reports over the past two days indicating that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) was waiting for the Federation to get back to it with a new offer. That is patently untrue, SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said this morning.