NUMSA launched a strike on the 5th of October to press for higher wages launched after wage talks hit a dead end and a resolution failed but it seems the chances of a secondary strike are even higher.
After a meeting which was held on Wednesday, it seems as though The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) and NUMSA failed to reach an agreement. SEIFSA Chief Executive Lucio Trentini confirmed earlier on Thursday
NUMSA has since been demanding an 8% across-the-board wage rise in the first year, and inflation plus 2% for the second and third years, but The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has only offered 4.4% for 2021, inflation plus 0.5% in 2022, and inflation plus 1% in the third year, an increase NUMSA refused to take, referring to the offer as a slavery national minimum wage.
NUMSA spoke on how ruthless organizations such as NEASA and SEIFSA are and deliberately sabotaging and blocking workers wage increase, “The recommended increase will be based on the actual rates of pay an employee is earning in any particular workplace. There is no offer there, the union cannot take this nonsense to the workers,” said Irvin Jim, general secretary of Numsa
Although there was broad agreement on a new three-year deal with SEIFSA, a key stumbling block on rates of pay remained, “With SEIFSA refusing to give this 6% increase on actual rates of pay, and with conservative employer associations … refusing to bargain, we have been left with no option but to continue to strike until there is a settlement offer,” NUMSA said.
“We will regroup this morning and plot the way forward,” he said after NUMSA members rejected a new employers’ proposal.He added that if the employer associations do not come to the table, they leave the union with no choice but issues a secondary strike notice which he vows will collapse the rest of the economy