NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Numsa members still debating the 7,5% wage offer from SEIFSA.

2 August 2004, Posted in Press Releases

DATE: 02 August 2004




Workers in the steel and engineering are debating the improved wage offer of 7,5% for the lowest paid and 6,5% for the highest paid. This comes after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the Steel Engineering Industry Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) met last week on Friday. Both parties are meeting again on Wednesday 04/08/2004 to finally determine whether to conclude the wage agreement or not. The union will formally announce whether workers accept or reject the wage offer on Thursday 05/08/2004. The wage talks will determine the salaries of over 300 000 workers employed in the industry.

We were able to push employers to a corner by embarking on one day protest action. There is a lot of resentment about low wages. The union notes the improvement of the wage offer but workers must have a final decision. We are a democratic organization that respects the wishes of workers. Workers must have a final say on any pay rise. The strike action was a remedy to show employers that workers cannot accept a miserable wage offer in the light of huge job losses taking place in the industry.

There is a particular edge to increase the wages of workers in the industry. Of great concern is that the purchasing levels of workers should dramatically increase to give space for local consumption. If workers are not paid good salaries the economy will not grow because people will buy less. The economy will not pick-up if workers have to observe wage restraint.

SEIFSA has acted with naivety before increasing the wage offer to 7,5%. Lower wage increases have the deleterious impact on workers in the industry. It is in the interest of the union to force the industry employers to move fast to close poverty wages and inferior conditions. Lower wages are a serious disincentive to worker performance. The industry has to measure itself to the challenges of giving workers improved salaries. All what we need in the industry are sustainable wages that will cushion the level of domestic market.

For more information contact Dumisa Ntuli @ 689-1700 or cell 0829737282