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Dear Industry employer

The MEIBC, on 23 August 2017, published a circular indicating that Seifsa and the 5 trade union parties have concluded a settlement agreement.

This fact cannot be disputed, however, what we find surprising is that the circular goes on to claim that “The Agreement will now be submitted to the Minister of Labour for extension to non-parties”.

In order for an agreement to be submitted to the Minister for extension, a number of processes need to unfold, both in terms of the constitution of the MEIBC and the Labour Relations Act. None of these processes have been completed or in fact have even commenced.

The MEIBC seems to be conveying the message to the Industry that this agreement will now simply be submitted to the Minister and will successfully be extended to non-parties. The MEIBC seemingly elected to simply ignore the fact that a vast number of employer organisations have not signed the agreement and will not vote in favour of the extension thereof.

It is therefore completely premature and opportunistic of the Council to make the statement that the agreement will be submitted to the Minister for extension as the very real possibility exist that the parties who signed the agreement do not have sufficient representativity to carry the vote which will allow the MEIBC to approach the Minister.

We will keep employers abreast of developments in this regard.