NUMSA to fight NEASA side-by-side with Labour Minister!
10 October 2011
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) will fight side-by-side with the Minister of Labour Midrand Oliphant against the fraught Labour Court application by National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA) to nullify the watershed metal and engineering industries collective bargaining agreement reached in July 2011.
The actions of NEASA are a clear attack on workers’ rights to collective bargaining and improved conditions of employment.
They are further a demonstration that NEASA wants to maintain and reproduce old apartheid wage income inequalities using the Courts to subject workers into poverty wages and squalor.
As NUMSA we will fight this ill-conceived attack of our hard won collective bargaining agreement reached with the metal and engineering ruling oligarchy through the Courts, and if it needs be, we will fight this through radical and militant action on the streets to defend the gains we had won for our members.
The days of slavery and cheap labour much envied by NEASA and its political master the Democratic Alliance (DA) we were buried with the demise of apartheid in 1994.
We will never as a revolutionary trade union that champions the interests of workers in the metal and engineering industries folds our arms when Courts are being abused or bullied to take us back to the era of Jan van Riebeeck. What we had won on the bargaining table after a series of militant actions on the streets remains.
This is what the employers wanted from Numsa during the 2011 engineering wage negotiations BUT could not get from Numsa because we took strike action against the lowering of wages, benefits and other conditions of employment;
Survival of the Industry – Employers want SMME’s to be defined as companies employing less than 50 workers. In addition they want automatic exemption for such employers.
Total Cost of Employment – Employers suggest that in addition to wages, the trade union demands are exceeding 38%. This particular claim would be used as a basis to advance single digit increases.
Atypical Work – Employers are saying that they will protect their right to have access to flexible employment practices and the use of labour broking arrangements currently provided for by the MEIBC Main Agreement.
Entry Level Grade – Employers are coming back with their demand for entry level rates of pay i.e. 40% less than grade H. They are clearly jumpi