The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA) is of the view that by only engaging with SEIFSA and NUMSA in an attempt to find a settlement in the current Metal Industry strike, the Minister of Labour is sending a clear message that she has no regard for the interests of small and medium size business (SMME’s).
‘Government calls on the private sector to create jobs. It is, however, in negotiations such as these that the structures should be created in which sustainable employment and job creation should take place. Unless the parties to the Bargaining Council see to it that it happens in these negotiations, it won’t happen at all,’ says Gerhard Papenfus, NEASA Chief Executive.
The National Development Plan foresees that 90% of jobs will be created by SMME’s by 2030. What is currently happening in the Metal Industry is in actual fact taking this Industry in exactly the opposite direction; less jobs by SMME’s. The Minister might be successful in brokering a deal which will bring an end to the strike, but in doing so she might also create the cause for further accelerated job losses in the Metal Industry.
‘The Minister must be aware of the fact that SEIFSA’s employer membership comprises less than 18% of employers in the Industry. Does she only talk to them because of the big employers in their ranks? Is she succumbing under pressure from NUMSA? It that where the less complicated, one-size-fits-all, job destroying deal lies? How does the Minister explain her total disregard for SMME’s,’ Papenfus said.
The Minister must be well aware that a settlement without NEASA will not survive the benchmark of extension to the whole of the Industry.
‘Or is it that she intends to extend such an agreement without complying with the law?,’ Papenfus asked.
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Sya van der Walt-Potgieter