OPEN LETTER TO SEIFSA
ON WHICH SIDE ARE YOU SEIFSA?
WILL YOU AGAIN BE TURNING AGAINST EMPLOYERS IN THE METAL INDUSTRY?
Dear SEIFSA leadership
The recent Metal Industry negotiations took place in a desperate environment. The Industry is, in your own words, an Industry 'in decline'. The result however of these negotiations was a settlement agreement, negotiated with NUMSA behind NEASA's back, which does not at all reflect the crisis employers in the Industry find themselves in. You, in your own words, 'reluctantly' agreed to this agreement which will cause 'massive job losses' in the Industry.
THE SO-CALLED SEIFSA/TRADE UNION METAL INDUSTRY AGREEMENT
This agreement between SEIFSA (a non party and self-proclaimed agent) and trade unions do not serve the interests of anybody in this Industry other than the few big employers which inspired this settlement. We dispute the validity of this agreement and will do whatever is needed to have it set aside should you in any way attempt to extend it to non-parties.
WHAT KIND OF AGREEMENT IS THIS?
You present this agreement, with the help of NUMSA, as an Industry agreement; but is it? Here are some important facts:-
- although SEIFSA, merely a self-proclaimed agent, has no role whatsoever to play in the affairs of the MEIBC, it took it upon itself to sign this so-called settlement agreement (this in itself renders this agreement invalid);
- the agent SEIFSA (through its affiliate employers' organisations), purportedly represents 2058 employers, or between 15-18 percent of the Metal Industry's 12-14 000 employers – you are therefore a complete and utter minority organisation with no moral right to even attempt to extend this agreement to non-parties;
- differently put: the 30 largest SEIFSA affiliated employers (approximately 0.5% of employers in the Industry), employ 14% of employees employed in the Industry; or the 475 largest SEIFSA affiliated employers (approximately 3.6% of employers in the Industry) employ 40% of employees in the Industry – it does not take much to imagine who is the driving force in SEIFSA. For years SEIFSA used this support of big employers with large work forces to enforce your dominance of this Industry;
- in your attempt to continue your role in the Metal Industry, you rely on two elements:-
- the size of a number of extremely big employers (in terms of number of employees employed) within your ranks, but even more importantly;
- you rely on the support of NUMSA, a self-proclaimed socialist movement, doing all it can to drag South Africa into a socialist future.
JUST THINK OF THIS
SEIFSA, and the socialist trade union NUMSA, rely on each other in their desperate urge (albeit for different but evenly selfish reasons) to use the Metal Industry for their own interests; both of you cannot exist without the MEIBC.
THE MEETING OF THE MEIBC SCHEDULED FOR 15 AUGUST 2014
At this meeting of the MEIBC we expect that some SEIFSA-affiliated organisations, with the support of NUMSA, will attempt to extend this minority agreement, the one you reluctantly agreed to, the one you said will cause 'massive job losses', which the two of you have negotiated behind NEASA's and other organisation's back, to the rest of this Industry. We are of the view that you cannot legally do that; but even an attempt to do so will be an illustration of your absolute defiance of the needs of this Industry and also proof of the extend to which SEIFSA is used by NUMSA in the promotion of its (NUMSA's) socio-economic and political agenda.
STAND BY EMPLOYERS, NOT TURN AGAINST THEM
In light of the above, we hereby demand from you that you will not attempt, with the help of NUMSA, to extend your ill-obtained agreement, the one which will cause 'massive job losses', to the rest of the Industry. What we demand of you is that you will choose, when the time comes, the interest of the large majority of employers in the Industry, mainly SMME's, and not the interest of a small minority, and definitely not in the interest of NUMSA.
YOU ARE AT A CROSSROAD; WHICH WAY WILL YOU GO? ON WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU?
You have signed a settlement agreement with NUMSA and the unions. That's your right; you've agreed to the terms; it suits you, not us and certainly not the majority of employers in the Industry. It's apparently OK to you that the jobs-bloodshed of the Industry will continue. If you can reconcile your conscience with that agreement, that's up to you; but the rest of the Industry refuse to. Do not attempt to enforce your agreement, with the help of NUMSA, on the rest of the Industry. Your actions will tell on which side you are on.
ARE YOU FOR SMME'S, OR THEIR BIGGEST ENEMY?
If you side with the trade unions to attempt to have this agreement, which will accelerate the demise of the Industry, extended to non-parties, it will be a clear indication were your loyalty lies. Your actions over the next week or so will be a decisive period in defining yourself.
Next week I will report to the Industry what you did.
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."