JOHANNESBURG, July 15 — The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says its members will accept a 10 per cent wage increase, for now.
The employer body, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa), has tabled a three-year wage offer of between 8.0 and 10 per cent for different levels of workers in the first year.
The Seifsa Council, the highest decision-making committee of the employers body, has rejected the union’s proposal for a settlement. The Council said Numsa’s proposal for a 10 per cent increase spread over three years, or alternatively ten per cent for a year only, with negotiations starting again next year, was not affordable.
The employer body said the current offer on the table, which is 10 per cent in the first year, 9.5 per cent in the second year and 9.0 per cent in the third is all that they can afford.
The National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) has offered 8.0 per cent, subject to an agreement on the reduction of the entry-level wage.
Thousands of Numsa members went on strike on July 1.
Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said Monday: “We will accept the three-year-agreement. We will accept 10 per cent for the three years. If there’s to be a one-year-agreement, we will accept a 10 per cent increase now and we are making the point that we cannot foresee the inflation rate and the kind of wages necessary for 2015 and 2016.”
Numsa will meet on Tuesday to consider intensifying the strike.