Numsa reluctant to agree on offer

The union has raised a potential sticking point in the employer offer.

FILE: Hundreds of Numsa members in Cape Town took to the street to demand pay hike in a nationwide strike on 1 July 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says if a section of the main agreement in the steel and engineering industry is amended, it will only lead to more frequent wage negotiations and employers will ultimately have more disruptions at company level.

An amendment to prevent workers from raising issues with cost implications has been proposed by employer body Seifsa, which says the issue is non-negotiable and must be included in an agreement to end the strike.

More than 200,000 Numsa members went on strike on 1 July for a 10 percent wage hike in the sector.

Numsa's Irvin Jim said, "The greatest damage that could have been done is the collapse to collective bargaining."

Yesterday the union said it will discuss claims its members have been involved in violence and intimidation during its wage strike at general meetings over the next two days.

Numsa's treasurer general Mphumzi Maqungo said the union's leadership will discuss claims of violence with its members but believes workers are being intimidated by the police.

Numsa says if its members accept the latest proposed wage offer from employers they'll try to persuade Seifsa to drop their demand for an amendment of the right to negotiate further at plant level.

The union has until the end of the day to respond to the offer before it is withdrawn.