UPDATE | Steel federation postpones briefing hours after announcing a 'landmark' wage agreement

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The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa says a wage agreement has been reached in the metals and engineering sector.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa says a wage agreement has been reached in the metals and engineering sector.
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  • The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa had said earlier on Thursday that a wage agreement has been reached for the metal and engineering sector.
  • The steel federation has postponed a media briefing on the matter. 
  • However, trade union Numsa will still hold a briefing on Thursday the wage agreement and the future of the strike.

Just hours after announcing it had reached a wage agreement with striking sector workers, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) postponed a scheduled briefing on the matter.

Earlier on Thursday, Seifsa issued a media advisory indicating that a "landmark wage agreement" had been concluded.

But two hours ahead of the scheduled briefing, Seifsa said it would be postponed and a new date and time would be announced.

Seifsa had previously revised its 4% offer to 6%, but that was rejected by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said earlier that the union would hold a separate briefing at 16:00 on Thursday, where it will give its position on the wage agreement and the "future of the strike". Hlubi-Majola said later on Thursday that the union's briefing will go ahead.

Numsa has sought an 8% increase across the board in the first year, 2% plus CPI improvement factor in the second year, and an opportunity to reopen negotiations if 2% plus CPI does not cover inflation in the third year, Fin24 previously reported.

The strike has entered its third week. According to Seifsa, in its first week alone, the strike cost R100 million in lost wages. The steel federation has also warned that a protracted strike could be worse than the 2014 strike which cost the economy R6 billion.

*This article was updated at 12:15 on Thursday, 21 October, to indicate that Seifsa's media briefing has been postponed.


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