A LOST OPPORTUNITY
Today Seifsa will be signing an agreement between themselves, Numsa and other trade unions. This agreement will remain an agreement between Seifsa and these trade unions. This notwithstanding, your attention is focused on the following.
Prior to the 2017 Industry negotiations, employer representatives spent a substantial amount of time in thrashing out the issues needed to bring about the recovery of the Steel Industry. These measures included, among others:-
- the introduction of a new entry level wage for newcomers;
- the determination of increases based on the new minimums;
- the negotiating of a completely revamped exemptions policy; and
- a regional dispensation.
Employers approached these negotiations with a common strategy. We all realised that, for the sake of the Industry, and for the sake of South Africa, we needed change; we needed an environment promoting sustainable business, growth and job creation.
Like in all previous rounds of negotiations, Seifsa betrayed the employer cause and will, today, enter into an agreement with Numsa and other unions which will deny everything employers need to stimulate growth and job creation – everything employers, including Seifsa, agreed was critical for the Industry.
Although the Seifsa & Co agreement only binds the signatories to that agreement, it affects the whole Industry in the sense that an Industry agreement, containing these business stimulating measures, is no longer possible.
The Industry is betrayed.
An opportunity has gone begging.
We will advise employers on the way forward in due course.
On a lighter note.
A five day cricket match was supposed to take place between England and the West Indies from Friday 18 – Tuesday 22 August 2017. England batted first and declared on 514/8. In response the West Indies were all out for 168 and were forced to follow on. In their second innings they were all out for 137. England won by 209 runs in three days.
‘Seifsa reminds me of West Indies cricket’, a friend of mine remarked.