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By Gerhard Papenfus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON ALL NEWSWIRES

PRESS RELEASE: NUMSA ONCE AGAIN MISREPRESENTING FACTS

14 April 2020

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has, once again, stated on various radio stations that employers (represented by NEASA) should approach the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) for funding to assist employees during the lockdown.

There is, in itself, absolutely nothing wrong with this statement and, on this point, NEASA is in full agreement with NUMSA.

However, where things go pear shaped is when NUMSA implies that NEASA does not support the TERS initiative. This could not be further from the truth. NEASA has been actively encouraging and assisting employers to apply for this funding in order to assist employees, and will continue to do so.

NEASA also rejects, with contempt, the statement by NUMSA that NEASA wishes to exploit workers and are only concerned with profits. NEASA’s sole focus is a balanced approach where business will still be financially viable once the lockdown is lifted.

NUMSA seemingly does not want to accept the legal principal of no-work, no-pay which applies during the lockdown, but continues to propagate the illusion that employers are supposed to pay employees in full. Apart from this notion being completely false, it is simply unrealistic for employers to do so without any source of income.

Consequently, for the record:

• NEASA fully supports the TERS initiative and, not only encourages employers to make use of it, but guides employers through the process;
• NEASA stands for the fair treatment of workers – not only during the lockdown, but at all times; and
• not paying employees for not working during the lockdown period is not exploitation; it is an economic principle, justified in law and implemented, in part or in full, by business fighting for survival during the current unprecedented challenge.

NUMSA is shamelessly using the COVID pandemic to advance its own agenda, and, instead of offering solutions, persistently attempts to drive a wedge between employers and employees to benefit its own selfish motives.

IF THERE ARE NO EMPLOYERS, THERE WILL BE NO EMPLOYMENT – FOR ANYONE.

This is a press release by Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA).

For more information:
NEASA Media Department
Marietha Thirion
marietha@neasa.co.za

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