meibcBusiness Times reports that employers in the metal and engineering industry want a forensic audit carried out on the sector's bargaining council at their expense - and until that is done they will not budge on a levy increase.  

At a meeting on Wednesday last week to vote on a proposed 18% hike in the levy paid by companies and workers, which the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) said was critical for its survival, employers called for the audit to investigate whether the council had mismanaged funds.  Gerhard Papenfus of the National Employers Association of SA (Neasa) said:  “The employer caucus unanimously decided that they would consider the continuation of the administration and levy fund once certain things are in place, such as a proper council structure, and once the forensic audit takes place.”  The council has a R14-million deficit and has temporarily halted core functions such as dispute resolution because it does not have money to pay service providers.  It has not had a levy increase since 2011.  

Solidarity’s Marius Croucamp said his union agreed with the employer body that levies should only be increased once the council had been restructured.  Johan van Niekerk of Uasa also supported the call for an audit.

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