Today's Labour News

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boardroomtableEngineering News reports on a panel discussion at last week’s 2017 Metals and Engineering Indaba on the topic of centralised collective bargaining in the metals and engineering industries sector.  

It is said that the system is at a critical “turning point”, with the sustainability of the current model being widely questioned in light of growing opposition to the extension of wage settlements to non-parties to the negotiations.  Seifsa’s Lucio Trentini said that the recently concluded three-year wage deal was likely to be contested by non-parties and, should such legal action succeed, “the industrial-relations consequences could be extremely serious.”  Bowmans partner Graham Damant argued that recent legal attacks on the binding nature of settlements to non-parties were indicative that the system would need to change.  Numsa’s lambasted employer organisations that continually objected to collectively negotiated agreements, noting that a mechanism already existed to offer exemptions where necessary.  Solidarity’s Gideon du Plessis noted that the post-Marikana labour-relations environment was characterised by a new, more disruptive culture, which had the potential to undermine collective bargaining.  Department of Labour chief director Thembinkosi Mkalipi was of the view that the real issue was the fight between employer organisations for control over the bargaining council.

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