Numsa strike: Seifsa says no more offers

The employer body also said it had not received any notice from the union on the latest wage offer.

FILE: Numsa members in Cape Town take part in a march marking the start of a national strike on 1 July 2014. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) on Friday said it had not received notice that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) had rejected its latest wage offer.

This despite media reports suggesting the union rejected the latest offer on the table.

Around 200,000 Numsa members have been on strike for almost two weeks now.

They are demanding a 15 percent salary increase but companies have only offered between eight and 10 percent.

Numsa is also demanding a R1,000 housing allowance, career and training opportunities for all workers, and the banning of labour brokers.

Union leaders met with employer bodies this week in a meeting facilitated by the Department of Labour.

Seifsa tabled a deal to implement wage hikes of 10 percent, 9,5 percent and nine percent over a three-year period.

Numsa's National Executive Committee met to discuss the matter on Thursday evening.

The union's Treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo says the official outcome of the talks will be communicated on Sunday.

He says for now, "The strike is still on."

It's believed Numsa is not willing to accept a three-year package.

But Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsuma says Numsa won't be getting a better offer.

"It is our very final offer," he said, adding, "The mandate that we have is if the offer is not accepted, it's going to be withdrawn from the table."

The strike, which follows a crippling five-month stoppage by platinum miners, is expected to cost the economy over R280 million a day in lost output.

STRIKE VIOLENCE

In what has already been an exceptionally violent strike, CCTV footage surfaced showing what appeared to be striking metal workers intimidating a colleague in Cape Town.

The video shows a group brandishing sticks and rocks breaking through a gate at an SA Metal Group property last week.

In the footage, striking workers could be seen chasing an employee off the premises as he sped away in his car.

He then smashed through the gate and collided with a truck.

Company director Clifford Barnett says his staff live in fear.

"We've had to take precautions and bring in extra security staff. The majority of our workers are intimidated to the extent that they are not prepared to come to work until the strike is settled."

Around 111 people have been arrested since the industrial action began.