Commenting on unresolved bargaining issues in the automotive sector, Jan Schoeman, Chief Operating Officer of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), said that the parties had met yesterday under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration.
During conciliation, he said the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) had abandoned its position on most of the issues raised in its original list of bargaining proposals, including invalidating the Peace Clause which prohibits plant-level bargaining. “NUMSA have tabled a proposal requesting that the wage deal for the past three years (2016 – 2019), be replicated for the ensuing three years,” says Schoeman.
In effect, this means that NUMSA is seeking an 8,5% (year 1), 8% (year 2) and 7,5% (year 3) increase in the Component Manufacturers Sector registered under Chapter III and an annual 7% increase for the next three years for the rest of the industry (excluding the fuel retail industry).
Schoeman says this is basically the same proposal tabled by NUMSA on the 13th of August 2019, which it withdrew the following day.
“Apart from the unrealistically high wage increase percentages proposed, the revised NUMSA “package deal” still contains a number of proposals that are in direct conflict with most of the RMI’s mandate, such as the introduction of night shift- and transport allowances, higher overtime rates for the vehicle body building and component manufacturing sectors of the Industry, and the effective scrapping of the short time provisions in the Main Agreement,” he says.
He said the RMI negotiating team was reviewing its current wage offer of 5% based on the current wage model, for each of the three ensuing years, and would make a counter proposal at the next session of conciliation, which the parties agreed would be on the 11th of October 2019.
Negotiations are therefore ongoing.