Government wants to make sure Numsa strike doesn’t go ahead

2014-06-26 12:40

The metals and engineering sector will receive government support to ensure a planned strike does not go ahead, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has said.

Prolonged strikes had to be avoided, she told reporters today after Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting yesterday.

“The employers and labour movement must be able to resolve the negotiations speedily so as to avoid such problems,” she said.

“On the issue of Numsa, definitely this is the call that we are making and we are going to support all the affected parties to make sure that the strike doesn’t take place.”

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) wants a 15% wage increase, while employers, such as the National Employers Association of SA, are offering a 6.5% increase.

The strike, planned for the beginning of July, was not directly discussed during the Cabinet meeting.

Cabinet welcomed the end of the five-month strike in the platinum mining sector and the end of damage to South Africa’s economy.

“The prolonged strike had dire negative effects on workers, employers, and our economy as a whole,” Muthambi said.

“Cabinet appeals to both employers and the labour movement to resolve negotiations speedily and to avoid such prolonged strikes.”

The success of the government’s development programmes depended on a stable and thriving economy.

On the recent downgrading of the country’s credit ratings by agencies Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, Muthambi said Cabinet “was alive to the growth challenges” facing the country.

“The government has prioritised the accelerated implementation of the National Development Plan, with reforms that are aimed at unlocking South Africa’s growth potential.”

Further, it intended to improve the regulatory environment, reduce skills shortages and accelerate its infrastructure investment programme as part of removing obstacles to growth.

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