A landmark collective bargaining agreement in the Automotive Industry

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa)convened a meeting on Friday, the 17th August 2007, attended by worker representatives from the seven car manufacturers (Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) to consider a proposal put forward by a facilitator in the negotiations to avert a legal strike action in the Industry.

In its deliberations, the meeting confirmed that this was a landmark proposal which covered all aspects that we had put forward as demands to employers. The proposal from the facilitator includes the following issues:

Wage increases for year 1 will be 9% ATB.
Wage increases for year 2 will be 8% ATB
Wage increases for year 3 will be 7.5% ATB
The proposed agreement deals with improved benefits on Severance Pay, the establishment of an Industry wide Provident Fund, improved benefits on Maternity Leave, career pathing for the C02 welders and spray painters. The agreement also proposes that other matters such as the limitation on the work of Labour Brokers, the establishment of a Plant Task Team to consider the adverse effects and payment thereof in the event of a Short time or Lay-off, that the parties will negotiate these matters at plant level.
The proposed settlement agreement also has provisions for the establishment of an Industry Policy Forum which will consider, the issue of black economic empowerment and benefits to members, this Policy Forum will also consider the issues of, HIV and AIDS, a Social Plan to deal with issues of retrenchments and closures and the establishment of a Mega Bargaining Council.

In the meeting, the representatives from the seven OEM’s agreed that this landmark agreement will be taken back to the plants with a recommendation to members on its acceptance. The parties ( Numsa and AMEO) will meet again on Tuesday, the 21st August to finalise the Heads of Agreement.

In the meeting on Friday, the 17th August, the General Secretary, Silumko Nondwangu said, “˜the growing levels of maturity from both parties, their skillful negotiators has made it possible this year in the Automotive Industry to conclude a long-term agreement without resorting to strike action, we are unique in our ability to drive a point home.’

This is the second landmark agreement we have signed this year in our sectors which substantially improves conditions of employment and takes a long-term view to the continued growth of our sectors. We are hoping that employers in the Tyre and Motor Industry will also realize that Numsa is not prepared this year to settle on anything that does not substantially improves conditions of employment. When we said at the beginning of this year that we will fight for a share of the windfalls in profits, we meant business.

Issued by Numsa General secretary Silumko Nondwangu

For further information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116

E-mail : mziwakheh@numsa.org.za