Numsa makes progress on pay demands

Striking members of Numsa demonstrate for better wages in Durban. (Sapa)
Striking members of Numsa demonstrate for better wages in Durban. (Sapa)
Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) is closer than ever to their wage demands, says Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant's spokesperson.

"All I can tell you is that in terms of wage percentages the union is closer than ever before to the amount they wanted, but I can't tell you what the amount is," Mokgadi Pela said on Sunday referring to the latest round talks.

Oliphant met with numsa and employer bodies in an attempt to end the wage dispute that turned violent.

Pela pointed out that unions and employers still have more issues to discuss.

"There are still sticky issues around labour broking, the youth wage subsidy, and housing, and the parties are being urged to resolve those issues," he said.

Numsa started striking for a double-digit wage increase on Tuesday, and several smaller unions have joined in.

Numsa wants a 15% wage increase and a R1 000 housing allowance in a one-year bargaining agreement.

It is also calling for an end to the use of labour brokers.

On Thursday, the biggest employers' organisation, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA, tabled a three-year wage offer of between 8% and 10% for different levels of workers in the first year.

The first category of worker was offered 7% in 2015 and 2016, while the others were offered 9% in the second year, and 8% in the final year.

The National Employers' Association of SA has offered 8%, subject to an agreement for entry-level workers' wages to be lowered and measures to make the industry more flexible.



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