Today's Labour News

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meibcBL Premium reports that employers in the steel and engineering sector have signed an above-inflation multi-term wage deal with the largest union, potentially setting a precedent for future labour agreements and raising operational costs for the embattled sector.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which speaks for the majority of workers falling under the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), framed the three-year deal as “progressive”. It will secure wage increases of 7%, 6% and 6% a year over each of the three years, beating the prevailing consumer inflation rate of 5.3%. The deal is a significant victory for workers, who will also benefit from extra money specifically for housing in the engineering sector. Lucio Trentini, CEO of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa), noted that the 2024 agreement was reached in record time, with no industry disruption and within the mandate. The deal was endorsed on Monday by 57% of the workers in the sector, including 115,000 Numsa members. The wage deal, effective from 1 July to 30 June 2027, is based on the minimum rates of pay and not on actual rates of pay, a stance that forced Solidarity to reject the revised offer. Trentini reported that there was a commitment by parties to “meaningfully address access to housing for industry workers”. He indicated that the parties had agreed to request the Metals and Engineering Industries Benefit Fund’s board of trustees to develop an institutional framework to address aspects including eligibility, legal criteria, funding models, subsidy mechanisms and programmes. Substantive policy approaches will be formulated within three months of the signing the agreement.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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