RSS Feeds social_twitter_box_blue_24 social_facebook_box_blue_24

SA Labour News

Strike in metal and engineering industries 'nearing end'

TJ Strydom writes that the metalworkers' strike might be over by Monday.  The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and four smaller unions agreed yesterday to take the latest offer, brokered by the Department of Labour, to their members.  The strike is now in its fourth week.  The unions and employers are no longer at odds about the numbers, but about when work will resume and whether further negotiations will be allowed at company level.  "The rallying call of '10, 10, 10' has been met," said Lucio Trentini, head of operations at the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa), referring to the 10% wage increase offer in each of the next three years for entry-level workers.  For skilled employees, the offer entails an increase of 8% in the first year, 7.5% in the second and 7% in the third.  Seifsa is worried about a clause in the agreement that leaves the door open for Numsa and other unions to down tools again at company level during the next three years.  "This notion of double-dipping or two-tier negotiations will undermine the system of central bargaining we have had for more than two decades," said Trentini.  The employers want the clause to make further wage talks at company level impossible until the deal has run its course.  Solidarity's general secretary, Gideon du Plessis, said he thought workers would be back in the factories by Monday.

  • Read this report at Times Live
  • See too, Numsa to take new wage offer to workers, at Fin24

Solidarity agreement with Telkom over retrenchment process made court order

telkom thumb100 An agreement between Telkom and Solidarity over Telkom's restructuring and retrenchment process was made a court order by the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the union reported.  "In terms of the court order a facilitator must be appointed to facilitate the consultations regarding the proposed retrenchments.  The court order further states that Telkom is prohibited from making any appointments or carrying out any retrenchments until the facilitation process has been concluded," deputy general secretary Johan Kruger said in a statement.  The facilitation process began on Monday and Kruger commented that the union had trust that the new consultation process led by a facilitator would take place correctly and transparently.  He went on to say: "We are aware that the big fight regarding Telkom's business rationale and the proposed use of race as a selection criterion still lies ahead."  The agreement between Telkom and Solidarity was reached on Thursday.  Solidarity spokesman Marius Croucamp said in a statement at that time that it halted the process whereby Telkom intended using race as a layoff criterion.  On 3 July, Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty had indicated that the company would use various criteria during retrenchments and that employment equity was only one of the criteria that would be applied to the process.

Following Seifsa’s acceptance, unions to consider state-sponsored metals proposal

Karl Gernetzky reports that the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa) said on Tuesday it had reluctantly accepted a state-sponsored wage proposal aimed at ending a four week strike in the metal and engineering sector.  Employer bodies and unions represented in the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) met on Monday and the unions agreed to consult their members on a wage deal that Seifsa said would expire on Friday.  A task team from the Department of Labour proposed a three-year wage deal that includes increases of between 7% and 10%.  Parties on Tuesday confirmed the remaining sticking point was a clause preventing strike action based on plant-level demands.  Seifsa said the clause dated back to 1992 and required amendment to reaffirm the original intention that centralised bargaining would cover all aspects of the cost of employment for members.  Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said his members would “simply not budge” on the clause.  Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said that either the clause against plant-level strike action should be scrapped or employers should give a formal undertaking not restructure or retrench during the period of the agreement.  Numsa’s leadership will meet on Tuesday evening, but dismissed the ultimatum from Seifsa to respond by Friday.  Solidarity’s Marius Croucamp said his union would likewise begin consulting its members.  National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa) CEO Gerhard Papenfus said his association continued to differ with Seifsa on the wage offer and could not afford to move beyond an 8% offer.

  • Read this report in full at BDLive
  • Read too, Seifsa 'reluctantly' accepts wage proposal, at eNCA
  • And also, Numsa strike a step closer to resolution, at EWN

Web links to labour articles on Tuesday, 22 July 2014

weblinksOur links page provides references to South African labour news articles we have come across on the internet on Tuesday, 22 July 2014.

Company shareholders need greater say on executive pay

earningsJon Duncan, head of sustainability research and engagement at Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG), writes that the debate about income inequality is often limited to executive remuneration, which is just one important factor that requires reform.  Apart from that, OMIG’s approach is to support the enhancement of shareholder "say on pay" through the provision of a binding vote on remuneration policy, which would bring SA’s markets in line with international practice.  In simple terms, in SA disclosure of individual directors’ remuneration and benefits is a listing requirement of the JSE.  Additionally, King 3 recommends that a company’s remuneration policy should be subjected to a nonbinding shareholder vote annually.  But, while mandatory disclosure is to be applauded, it is not sufficient to hold management accountable for ensuring alignment between executive remuneration practices and the creation of shareholder and broader long-term stakeholder value, so perhaps SA can look to global precedent as a departure point.  For example, UK-listed companies, in line with European markets, must now submit their remuneration policy to a binding shareholder vote (simple majority) once every three years, along with an annual nonbinding shareholder vote on application of the remuneration policy.  Duncan says introduction of "say on pay" legislation should come as no surprise to executives of JSE-listed companies, given the international trends and the very real income inequality in SA. However, the exact nature of any "say on pay" regulation would need careful consideration and should be coupled with an equally vigorous debate on regulation and policy related to job creation.

  • Read this article in full at BDLive

Latest News