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Numsa to clarify its position on Seifsa wage settlement offer on Monday
Sunday, 27 July 2014 18:39
Karl Gernetzky reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will clarify its position on a wage settlement offer from employers in the metal and engineering sector on Monday. About 220,000 Numsa members downed tools in the sector on 1 July. Numsa held a special national executive committee meeting on Sunday to deliberate on a wage offer aimed at ending the strike and will communicate its position to members on the picket line and to the media on Monday, the union said in a statement. A meeting between Numsa and employer body the Steel Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa) continued until late on Friday night, where the two parties failed to find consensus on an amendment to a clause within the bargaining council’s main agreement that limits the right to strike at company level. In presenting a three-year wage deal of increases of between 7% and 10% last week, Seifsa insisted on the tightening up of clause 37 that protects companies from strike action during the currency of the industry agreement in respect of plant level demands that have costs implications. Seifsa has proposed an alternative amendment, which may serve as a compromise but still offers additional clarity on the status of the central bargaining process. Unions are expected to provide their formal response to the Metals Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) at midday on Monday.
Numsa to announce today whether metals strike is over or not
Sunday, 27 July 2014 09:12
Dewald van Rensburg reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will make an announcement about the ongoing strike in the metal and engineering sector today, according to spokesman Castro Ngobese. The strike is now almost in its fifth week, double the length of the strike during the sector’s wage dispute in 2011. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa), which is the main employer grouping, has already put an acceptable wage offer on the table – three annual increases of 10% for lower-level employees and 8% for higher-paid employees. But there is a still a fight about a counter demand from employers that sector 37 of the sectoral bargaining council’s main agreement be tightened up. The clause regulates what can and cannot be negotiated separately by individual employers at company level. Proposing very broad working, the employers want it amended to ban all plant-level talks about anything that can affect the “cost of employment.” In affect they want to block Numsa from taking its major non-wage issues, such as banning labour brokers and outlawing the employment tax incentive, to individual employers. The employers’ desire to patch up the main agreement follows a recent labour court judgment that blew larges holes in section 37 as it now stands.
Read more on page 1 of City Press Business of 27 July 2014
Adri van Zyl writes that prospects for job seekers in the current third quarter of this year look improved. In this quarter, South African employers intend to employ 8% more people, according to a global survey by the international ManpowerGroup. Although prospects for work opportunities can at best be described as cautiously optimistic, they are the best since the third quarter of 2010 and are an improvement of four percentage points against the second quarter of this year and seven percentage points against the third quarter of 2013. Lyndy van den Barselaar, managing director of Manpower SA, said that the trend shows greater confidence on the part of employers following the global economic recovery and investors again looking at developing countries. She indicated that investors from China, India, Europe and the US were showing great interest in assets and commodities in Africa, which was a good sign for South Africa and other African countries. In the current quarter, employers in four out of five regions intend to take on more people in all ten of the sectors surveyed (graph included in original article). The biggest increase in appointments (12%) over the previous quarter is expected in the Eastern Cape because of investments in the development of infrastructure. In Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape the increases are expected to be 11% and in Free State 4%. The sectors where the biggest increases are expected are mining and quarrying, the public and community sector, and restaurants and hotels.
Over nine hundred police charged for aiding escapees, but only 40 fired
Saturday, 26 July 2014 12:10
More than 900 police officers were charged in the past three years for helping with escapes, but only 40 of them have been fired, according to Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko. In a written reply to a parliamentary question, he said 907 police officers had been charged with “aiding an escapee” during the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years. Of the 907 charged, 288 were found not guilty, 516 were found guilty and 103 of the cases were withdrawn. Of the 516 found guilty, only 40 were dismissed. According to the reply, 231 police officers were fined, or counselled (10), or issued with a verbal warning (14), or a written warning (93), or a final written warning (70), or suspended without pay (six), or received a suspended sanction (63) or suspended dismissal (111). The question was posed by Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard, who criticised what she described as a “complete lack of accountability” in the service for crimes committed by police. “It is indeed outrageous that aiding escapees, a crime that undermines our criminal justice system in the most fundamental way, has led to virtually no consequences for those involved.” The DA is to call for a full investigation into the matter by Parliament’s police portfolio committee.