Numsa seeks advice on peace deal

The union is questioning the constitutionality of a peace plan proposed by employers.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it's seeking legal advice to question the constitutionality of a peace deal proposed by employers in the automotive components industry.

A month long strike by more than 40,000 workers affiliated to Numsa came to an end on Sunday.

Workers were striking for better wages.

Members will receive a wage hike of 10 percent in the first year and 9 percent for two years thereafter, while workers at smaller plants will receive one percent less.

But the union is contesting a proposed three-year peace deal.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim says the union won't sign the peace deal agreement or threshold clause which prevents workers that are paid higher salaries from benefiting from the agreement.

Jim said the union is questioning the agreement's constitutionality.

"We are questioning the constitutionality of the employers wanting to bargain and take away the rights of workers to be able to strike and to raise everything in relation to this matter."

But Retail Motor Industry CEO Jakkie Olivier says employers are confident of the legitimacy of the deal.

"You can't have centralised bargaining and plant levelling at the same time and do business under the threat of ongoing and continuous industrial action. We are confident as employers that the piece of centralised collective bargaining is certainly not unlawful."