The Steel Industry finds itself in a quite surreal situation – yet again.
SEIFSA (only representing 13 percent of employers in the Industry) is in discussion with NUMSA in an attempt to reach a settlement. None of the other employer organisations are involved. SEIFSA has made it clear that, if they reach an agreement with NUMSA, they will attempt to extend that agreement to non-parties.
For the following reasons, there are no discussions taking place between NEASA and NUMSA:-
- we have, as yet, not received a demand from NUMSA and the other unions (with the exception of Solidarity) which we could respond to. In light of the setting aside of the 2011 – 2017 agreements, the Unions’ wage demands are made in a vacuum. Their demands range from 10-20 percent – they are however unable to indicate on what figure the increases are based on;
- NUMSA and the other unions (with the exception of Solidarity) demand an extension of the ‘current’ agreement. Since the agreements of the last six years have been declared a nullity by the Labour Court, this demand is nonsensical; and
- NUMSA is not prepared to engage with NEASA on any of NEASA’s demands to create a dispensation which could assist in the resurrection of the Industry. They simply wish to continue in their old ways, making the Industry more and more unaffordable. We simply do not share any common ground.
We will keep you abreast of developments in this regard.