Construction pay demands rejected

By Drum Digital
26 August 2013

Employers in the construction sector see pay demands by trade unions as unreasonable

, the SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) said on Monday.

"In terms of their respective positions, parties are far apart. [We] believe that the union demands are unreasonable and unaffordable," the employer organisation said.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members in the construction sector have downed tools, demanding a 13 percent wage increase.

Spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said about 90,000 NUM members did not report for work after negotiations with employers reached a deadlock.

Because of the impasse members had resorted to an indefinite nation-wide strike.

"We want a 13 percent wage increase for this year and a 14 percent increase for 2014, but the employer offered way below that," Seshoka said.

Employers tabled a six percent wage increase for 2013 and an inflation-linked increase for the next year.

"The ball is now in the employers' court to come back to us with a revised offer," he said.

The employer organisation described the mass action as "sporadic strike action that affects all provinces" and said it was hard to tell which sites had been hit the hardest.

-Sapa

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