Numsa to meet employers on wage deal

The union will meet with employers on Monday in a bid to end the two-week strike.

Numsa members have been on strike since 1 July 2014. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it will meet with employers in the steel and engineering industry on Monday to discuss a settlement to the current wage strike.

The union has formally rejected the latest offer from employers for a three-year deal, saying its members are reluctant to sign for more than one year due to the unpredictable increase in the cost of living.

The biggest employer body, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa_ (S_eifsa) has offered ten percent - 9,5% and 9% over three years - while the National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) says it can only afford 8%.

Numsa's Irvin Jim says the union has come up with three possible solutions to end the strike.

"If employers want a three-year agreement then they must meet workers' demands of a double digit increase, which should be on an ascending scale."

He says if this is not affordable workers have reluctantly agreed to accept 10% over three years.

Jim says for now the strike will be intensified and the union is seriously considering solidarity action in other sectors.

About 220,000 Numsa members went on strike two weeks ago following four months of unsuccessful talks.

The first two weeks of Numsa strike has been marked by an intervention by the Labour Department and widespread reports of violent pickets and damage to property.