METAL INDUSTRY ALERT
2011/14 AGREEMENT – FRAUD!!
In this newsletter you can also read the Labour Court's criticism of the Meibc's intentional irregular conduct.
The Meibc has not only failed to protect the freedom that creates prosperity and employment, it has become destructive of that freedom.
Dear Metal Industry Employer
In respect of the second extension of the 2011/14 Metal Industry Main Agreement by the Minister of Labour – after the Labour Court in December 2012 set aside the first extension – the Minister relied on an agreement dated 14 January 2013.
It was only after the Minister extended the 2011/14 agreement (for the second time, in April 2013) that we became aware that there was a second request and purported agreement delivered to the Minister.
On the very evening of the day on which we became aware of the second extension. I bumped into one of the three culprits who signed this purported agreement and enquired about it. His response was 'the time for miracles aren't over yet'. This is true, except for the fact that in this case …
… there was no miracle!
In fact, there could not have been such an agreement since there was no meeting of the Council where such a decision could have been taken.
This constitutes fraud!
Three officials, respectively in the employ of Seifsa, NUMSA and the Meibc, outside of any Meibc structure, signed a document and submitted it to the Minister, under the pretense of it being an official Council agreement. It is on the basis of this purported agreement that the decision was made by the Minister of Labour to sign into 'law' an arrangement which created a tool in the hands of the Meibc to harass SMME's, eventually leading to liquidations, business closures, job losses, family hardship and huge legal costs, both for NEASA and individual employers.
THE LABOUR COURT JUDGEMENT IN RESPECT OF IRREGULAR MEIBC AND DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR CONDUCT
In his judgement of 17 December 2014 presiding judge Watt-Pringle said the following: "Whilst I consider that the Bargaining Council is more culpable for the irregular way in which it sought extension of the collective agreement and for its failure candidly to deal with the status of the 14 January 2013 "agreement", the Department of Labour was also aware of the absence of any valid decision to request the extension of the agreement to non-parties.
SO WHAT NOW?
First of all, the deliberate misrepresentation constitutes a criminal offense. Do we leave it there?
Secondly, from a damages point of view, the three individuals (culprits) and the Meibc should be held accountable. We will deal with this appropriately in due course.