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Numsa says it’s anticipating difficult wage negotiations in coming months

Negotiations usually get underway during the winter season and are mostly followed by strike action.

FILE: Hundreds of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members in Cape Town took to the street to demand pay hike in a nationwide strikeon 1 July 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it anticipates a difficult wage negotiations season as it prepares to bargain in several sectors in the coming months.

The union held a collective bargaining conference this week where it held strategies on how to approach negotiations in the auto, aviation and security sectors.

Negotiations usually get underway during the winter season and are mostly followed by strike action.

Recently amended strike and picketing laws in the country are among the list of issues Numsa said it will make this year’s negotiations tough for workers.

Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the bargaining conference reflected on the difficulty this will pose to their ability to bargain with employers.

South African trade unions have been given until just after June to change their constitutions in line with the amendments in the Labour Relations Act that require leaders to ballot their members on whether to embark on strike action.

Numsa has been one of the greatest critics of the laws, describing them as anti-workers.

The Labour Registrar has warned that unions which fail to effect the changes could be deregistered.