JOHANNESBURG, July 29- The four-week strike in South Africa’s steel and engineering industry has ended with National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim announcing that union members have accepted a 10 per cent wage increase.
Striking workers have been requested to report back for work by Tuesday.
The strike severely disrupted the auto manufacturing industry and cost the economy millions of rand. It has also been reported that Solidarity will accept the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa’s (Seifsa) offer of a three-year salary agreement.
“The offer comprises salary increases of 8.0 per cent to 10 per cent in year one, 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent in year two and 7.0 per cent to 10 per cent in year three,” Solidarity spokesman Marius Croucamp said in a statement.
Under the proposal, section 37 of the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council collective agreement would remain in place, with a provision that existing company-level agreements stay in force.
According to Seifsa: “Section 37 protects employers from having to engage in substantive negotiations at plant level, once a deal has been concluded on wages and related conditions of employment at national level.”
The Labour Department and Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitated talks between Seifsa and unions earlier this month when negotiations between the parties deadlocked.