ENFORCEMENT OF MIMINUM WAGES UNDER THE MEIBC
Dear NEASA member
The Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) has the authority in terms of schedule 10 of the Labour Relations Act to enter the premises of an MEIBC employer in order to monitor and enforce compliance with a collective agreement concluded in the bargaining council.
The validity of the conclusion and extension of the current MEIBC main agreement is currently before the Labour Court and we are awaiting a date for the matter to be heard.
What is common cause however, is that the wage schedules for the periods 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 have never been promulgated in the government gazette and therefore do not form part of the collective agreement that the MEIBC is trying to enforce. This is further illustrated by the fact that the MEIBC brought an application before the Labour Court requesting the Court to rectify the situation.
The Labour Court is however the incorrect forum for such a request as only the Minister of Labour has the authority to promulgate and extend collective agreements or any aspect contained therein. All indications are that the MEIBC has realised this reality and that this application to the Labour Court has in the meantime been abandoned.
It is therefore clear that the MEIBC has got no authority to enforce compliance with any wages within the abovementioned period. Any request from agents to inspect wage records should be declined as the MEIBC have no jurisdiction whatsoever to monitor compliance with wages.
Should agents insist that they indeed do have jurisdiction, they should be requested to produce the government gazette in terms of which the relevant wages were promulgated.
It should be noted that this situation relates only to wage related issues. The MEIBC is still authorised to monitor and enforce any other aspects of the main agreement as well as provident fund and levy contributions.
Should you experience any difficulty in this regard kindly contact our hotline.
National Collective Bargaining Co-ordinator