Solidarity taking Seifsa to Labour Court

Trade union Solidarity will approach Labour Court to stop Seifsa from locking out non-striking workers.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation (Seifsa).

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity said it will approach the Labour Court this week to secure an urgent interdict ending a lock out of non-striking workers.

This involves 23 steel and engineering companies.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is expected to start its indefinite strike by more than 200,000 of its members this week after three months of wage talks failed.

The union demanded a 12 percent salary increase and the scrapping of labour brokers but the companies offered just over six percent.

In response, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) decided to lock out all employees for the duration of the strike.

But solidarity's Gideon du Plessis said this has angered the 23 companies where the lock out will take place.

"We've received a lot of support from Seifsa members who indicated they were outraged that their employer's organisation is forcing such drastic steps on them as a result of a platinum strike."

Meanwhile, yesterday Numsa rejected a call by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) to call off its planned strike in the metal and engineering industry and return to the negotiating table.

Sacci senior policy consultant Pietman Roos said the union should put the country first.