The question is often asked why NEASA is campaigning so heavily against Seifsa?
Why can't we just leave them alone?
IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
* this is why we can't
* Seifsa's behaviour an 'act of hostility' towards SMME's
* The genie of appeasement
* So what can they do that will convince us to stop our attacks on them?
THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T
Seifsa is not just another organisation going about doing its own thing, minding its own business. Over the years Seifsa has disregarded the interests of SMME’s, negotiated destructive agreements with NUMSA, bowed before NUMSA, and then, with the help of its ally NUMSA, extended these agreements to the majority of the Industry. Currently they are attempting to do this again.
What we have here is an institution wanting to enforce it’s will on others – Seifsa, a complete and utter minority, representing 15 percent of employers in the Industry, enforcing its will on the overwhelming majority (85%) of the Industry. Although a distorted provision in the Labour Relations Act, which completely negates the interests of SMME's, makes it possible for Seifsa to do that, it still remains up to Seifsa whether they, with the help of NUMSA, want to abuse this position and bully the Industry.
NEASA and SMME's in the Metal Industry cannot live with such a dispensation.
SEIFSA'S BEHAVIOUR AN 'ACT OF HOSTILITY' TOWARDS SMME'S
What Seifsa does is an act of self interest, aimed directly against the interests of SMME’s. Because SMME’s don't realise what the Seifsa/NUMSA alliance is doing to the Industry, Seifsa/NUMSA continue with their actions. It will be irresponsible for NEASA not to react.
THE GENIE OF APPEASEMENT
Over decades a relationship has developed in which Seifsa has constantly failed to stand up to NUMSA. They have let the genie of appeasement out of the bottle, it has grown and now it has turned on them – and the Industry. Seifsa will not be able to turn it around. Well, that's my view, again confirmed by what I saw and experienced during the last negotiations.
Will Seifsa's appeasement strategy bring peace and prosperity to this Industry, to employers and employees alike? No, it will only lead to the further demise of the Industry.
In 2009 Trevor Manuel said: "There is no counterweight in society if you have cowards in business. You don't have to keel over every time someone stands up and says 'I disagree'". I agree with him and that’s why our philosophy towards Industry matters differs completely from that of Seifsa.
SO WHAT CAN THEY DO THAT WILL CONVINCE US TO STOP OUR ATTACKS ON THEM?
This is actually very simple: Seifsa must give NEASA an undertaking that they will desist from any attempt to extend their ill-conceived deals to the rest of the Industry, and we will leave them alone.
In other words, Seifsa must simply negotiate for themselves, live with the consequences of their own weakness, and leave the rest of the Industry alone. That's fair, isn't it?
It's up to them; but if they refuse to give us that undertaking, there will never be peace between NEASA and Seifsa.
"Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in'"