Keep motor retail and fuel part of Merseta

The National Skills Development Authority recommended to the minister of higher education and training a possible new SETA landscape for the next five years, in terms of the skills development Act 1998.

One of the affected Setas is Merseta, where a proposal has been made that motor retail and fuel be moved to Wholesale and Retail SETA (W&RSETA).

NUMSA opposes the move as it has negative implications to the industry as a whole.

Numsa opposes the move based on the following grounds:

Motor retail is part of a value chain in the automotive sector where components are manufactured and sold through dealerships in the same sector.

The move would also affect Numsa scope and collective bargaining arrangements.

The automotive value chain in Merseta is as follows:

• Auto chamber – vehicle assembly;

• New tyre chamber – Tyre manufacturing;

• Motor chamber – Automotive components and vehicle body manufacturers; Engineering and re-conditioning repairs and maintenance; and a smaller embedded and integrated sales and retail part.

Numsa acknowledge that the sales and retail skills falls within the W&R SETA and the financial management and administration related skills fall within the Bank Seta or InSeta.

There is no call for the head office of all the metal and engineering companies to fall within those Setas. The pre-requisite qualifications are only tapped from those Setas. In the same way, we argue that the Motor and Fuel Retail Sub sectors fall within the Merseta and not the W&RSeta.

The proposed may create a dilemma that has far reaching unintended consequence on the demarcation of sectors and possible impact on bargaining council’s scope.

If the proposal is influenced by the Fuel Retail Association (FRA), it could be motivated by their exclusion from the Merseta governing board.

This is a matter that can be addressed and resolved by the employer constituency by giving them a seat on the governing board.

The labour constituency has done it for Unions that are in the minority. All Unions have at least one seat on the governing board.

We do not want to give space for delinquent and anti-regulation proponents to take advantage, and to disintegrate the Motor Industry Bargaining council (MIBCO).

With the exception of the FRA, the other MIBCO Parties, Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA) and Retail Motor Industry (RMI) have indicated support for our position to keep the sub-sectors within the Merseta.

It needs to be recorded that FRA took the matter to move fuel and retail to W&RSETA to court in 2005 and the award was not in their favour.

The Merseta covers the manufacturing sector adequately. While the product value chain may be argued for this Seta, we are of the different view based on the core skills cluster.

The majority of the production processes and skills base in this proposed Seta are similar to the Metal, Engineering, Automotive components and Tyre manufacturing Sector.
We therefore propose that this should be a chamber of the Merseta.

Malebo Mogopodi is a Numsa Skills &Training Coordinator


Numsa News No 2 July 2010