Despite the turmoil, the dawn of a new season is on the horizon.
Since all the unions are bound into a deal with Seifsa, what can the rest of employers in the Industry do?
• The Seifsa/Numsa agreement in context
• The likelihood of this agreement being extended to non-parties
• How NEASA will respond to any unlawful attempt to extend the agreement
• The strike that wasn’t
• The NEASA approach in respect of wages and increases
• An entry level wage for new employees
• What about current unaffordable wages?
• How to negotiate and implement changes to conditions of employment
The roadshow will be conducted by Gerhard Papenfus and Jaco Swart, NEASA’s National Collective Bargaining Co-ordinator.
Industry role players cannot afford to miss this!
• The disastrous 2014 negotiations
• Widespread and persistent unconstitutional MEIBC conduct
• Illegal extension of 2014-2017 Main Agreement
• The setting aside of the 2011-2014 Main Agreement and its consequences
• The effect of the NEASA lock-out
• NUMSA’s capitulation to NEASA’s demands
• Legal challenges of the 2014-2017 Agreement with the aim to set it aside.
In-depth training will also be given on the following:-
• Amendments to the Main Agreement
• Relevant amendments to the Labour Relations Act (which came into effect on 1 January 2015).
You cannot afford to miss this very important event. We look forward to seeing you there!
These included an overview of the Metal Industry, the constitutional crisis in the MEIBC, union demands in light of the upcoming labour negotiations and NEASA’s demands with regard to the upcoming labour negotiations.
NEASA is adamant that it will use the negotiations to fight for an environment that is conducive to job creation and the growth of SMME’s. NEASA has adopted various positions to ensure a definite turn around in the status quo which is currently destroying all efforts to bring about economic growth and job creation.
In his presentation, Mr Papenfus also focussed on the dire situation facing the economy and the challenges around job creation. The focus was on the fact that government should free the hands of the private sector to ensure job creation across all sectors.
NEASA intends holding similar road shows throughout the year to keep our members updated with developments especially in light of the upcoming negotiations.
In his presentation, NEASA CEO Gerhard Papenfus, highlighted the fact that the labour field has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The pre-1994 struggle was political in nature, while the current struggle is an economic struggle.
Papenfus said it was important for members to understand the political, economic and social conditions under which the negotiations will take place. The increasing gap between the rich and the poor will remain a contentious issue.
‘The question is; how do we address this? Some suggest that state intervention is the answer which means radical distribution of wealth in different forms and in all areas of society. Others, like us, want less state intervention and strong private sector development,’ he said.
‘The fact is, the gap between the rich and the poor will always be fuelled by those who believe that they can somehow enhance their political ambitions through it. This challenge will impact us directly, we cannot escape it. The only question is; will we influence the process? Will us as SMME’s be part of the process leading to a sustainable solution or will we be at the receiving end because we have chosen not to be intensely involved. We cannot be spectators; we need to get into the arena.’
SMME’s must get involved in job creation as big business can no longer be the main driver. SMME’s (companies employing less than 100 employees) have created the most jobs over the last decade – perhaps as high as 90% of these jobs were created by SMME’s.
‘So far government has only paid lip services to real job creation. Real job creation is proper private sector job creation. This is the kind of job creation that is the result of economic growth, which in turn is the result of many factors, which include a business and investor inviting environment, amongst others as a result of modified labour legislation. This is not going to happen easily. The current direction is not towards a more business friendly environment, but rather away from it. Since the 80′s, labour legislation has constantly become stiffer. We need to get rid of the hampering red tape,’ Papenfus said.
There needs to be a proper plan of action to deal with the crippling effects of unemployment.
- The formal unemployment figure stands at just over 25%. This does not include ‘discouraged workers’. If you include them the figure increases to 37%.
- The so-called under-employed constitutes a further 9% – bringing the number of idle people up to 46%.
- According to Statistics SA, the unemployment rate among 15-24 year olds stands at 53%, whilst 15-34 year olds account for 70% of unemployed persons.
‘All of this explains why more people in South Africa are receiving social grants than have jobs and why the nominal growth in welfare far outstripped the nominal growth in tax revenue in the past decade. According to the South African Institute of Race Relations the ratio of people in employment to those receiving welfare is now 0,9 to 1. In 2001 this figure was 3.3 to 1. This is obviously not sustainable,’ Papenfus said.
High wages, of course, is not the only obstacle to employment. There are numerous other reasons such as the cost of regulatory compliance, difficulty to dismiss as well as economic and political uncertainty. All of these need to be addressed it we want to eradicate poverty and create jobs.
If private sector job creation by especially SMME’s is the primary antidote for unemployment, it is obvious that it is people like us who will have to address this national dilemma.
‘We can’t expect assistance from government; in fact, under pressure from COSATU and the SACP they might be making it even more difficult. Business might be branded as being the exploiters of the poor and the underprivileged, we might be called ‘capitalists’ and the enemy of the very people we employ, yet we are still the only solution to the unemployment crisis which we find ourselves in, with all its nasty consequences. ONLY WE CAN DO IT!’ he said.
Issues that came under discussion included: NEASA’s urgent application in the Labour Court; the outcome of arbitration referred by NEASA on the unconstitutionality of the MEIBC; NEASA’s review application in the Labour Court/Labour Appeal Court; exemption applications; actions following a rejection of an exemption application by an exemption committee and the population of regional councils and MANCO/arbitration.
NEASA received a lot of feedback from its members, indicating the importance of such engagements. As an organisation we will continue to constructively and directly communicate and interact with our members.
NEASA Informal Workshops
Please contact your regional office for more information
Brooklyn Bridge Office Park
Steven House, 3rd Floor
570 Fehrsen Street
Tel: (+27)12 622 8971
Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.