Today's Labour News

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meibcCity Press writes that some employer groups in the metals and engineering sectors think they have an iron-clad bargaining chip to get unions to sign up for an almost unprecedented lowering of prescribed entry-level wages.  

That chip is the prospect of dropping wages to an even lower point, on a widespread scale, if no deal is reached.  Should that happen, it could spell the collapse of the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC).  For the same reason, long-standing demands that the sector’s wages differentiate between large and small employers seem to be a possibility this year.  The new dynamic is that the employer side of the MEIBC has fragmented, with only four employer groups now seated at the table.  A new deal will almost certainly require all the groups’ assent to be extended to the whole sector.  But, the National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa) has spent the past few years fighting against MEIBC deals and their extension to the whole sector.  Now the SA Engineers’ and Founders’ Association (Saefa), the largest member of employer federation Seifsa, has broken away.  And another group, the Consolidated Employers’ Organisation, has grown large enough to claim its own seat at the table, changing the balance of negotiating power.  If there is no extension of the deal, all the non-parties would very likely set their entry-level wage at R20 an hour, being the imminent new national minimum wage.

  • Read this informative report by Dewald van Rensburg in full at City Press
  • Read too, Neasa vs. Numsa: Wie gaan bes gee? at Netwerk24 (limit on access)
  • And also, Wage negotiations between Saefa and Numsa collapse, on page 20 of Sunday Independent Business Report of 16 July 2017


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