Shopfloor: Engineering Extension to TBVC


Despite the extension of the Engineering Agreement to cover all areas that used to fall under the homelands or self-governing states, employers have been refusing to comply. Past issues of Numsa News have spelt out the battles that the Union has had with these employers.

But as Mbuso Mchunu reports, this pressure applied to engineering employers in Ezakheni in the old KwaZulu, is starting to pay off.

Steelkor – The Bargaining Council agent visited the factory in February, did a grades and rates investigation and ordered the employer to rectify the pay of those workers who were underpaid.

Numsa's regional secretary was to meet Steelkor employer, Mr Singh, to discuss his allegations that he had received death threats from a Numsa local organiser. Duro Pressings – The Bargaining Council agent did a grades and rates investigation and ordered the employer to rectify the pay of those workers who were underpaid.

Bonvoyage – When this Chinese owned company refused to register with the Bargaining Council last year, the Council took the employer to court. At an arbitration hearing in February, the arbitration award ordered the employer to register with the Council within 21 days and pay the cost of the arbitration.


Chinese companies in Newcastle seem to believe that a person can survive on R1.50 per hour. Or that is what they were paying until Numsa and the Bargaining Council told them about the extension of the Engineering Main Agreement.

Since then workers have seen their wages increase by 100% – but only to between R3.10 and R3.81 per hour! Shan Da Aluminium has now registered with the Bargaining Council.

But they have "refused to comply with the 40% of the Main Agreement rates as laid down by the Main Agreement," says Numsa Newcastle organiser Solo. "Instead they opted to pay R3.10 per hour for a 5-year period.

These employers say that the Bargaining Council is being unfair to them because their competitors in the neighbouring provinces like the Free State are not compelled to register with the Bargaining Council." Man Machinery Hardware agreed to raise workers' wages to R3.81 per hour. But they refuse to pay workers leave enhancement pay (bonus) at the end of the year.

Instead, they will give each worker one small pot as a bonus. "They are not prepared to enter into any wage negotiations for two years," says Solo. And the problems do not end there. 50 jobs are hanging in the balance at Man Machinery with management threatening to put one big department under liquidation.

In the companies' health and safety departments, matters are no better. "Workers are losing their fingers almost every day," says Solo as these same companies disregard health and safety regulations and the labour department's compliance orders.


Numsa News