earningsTerry Bell reports that the combined trade unions represented at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) may at last be reaching an agreed position on a national minimum wage (NMW).  

A meeting of the labour group is due to be held on Tuesday to thrash out remaining differences, before a meeting with President Jacob Zuma on the following Tuesday.  Should agreement be reached on Tuesday, this meeting could be the prelude to a move within the next few months to establish a NMW.  However, how, whether or when any such determination will apply to existing low wage determinations for domestic, farm and forestry workers remains to be decided.  Government has indicated that a NMW of slightly more than R3,000 a month might be acceptable, which is roughly in line with the position of Fedusa.  However, Cosatu has continued to press for a R4,500 minimum, although there have been hints this could drop to perhaps R3,700.  Nactu wants minimum wages on a regional or even sectoral basis, a position that seems untenable.


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