The Freed Market Foundation (FMF) finds it ironical that “collective” bargaining has been attributed to bringing an end to the strike in the metals and engineering sector
Six unions in the metals and engineering sector signed a wage deal with most employers. The new wage deal stipulates that workers would get increases of between eight and 10%, depending on whether they were high or low earners.
One of the employer bodies, the National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa) did not endorse the offer, saying it had been sidelined in the negotiation process, brokered by the Labour Department.
A statement which was emailed to Transform SA quotes FMF chair, Herman Mashaba, as saying: “The recent developments in the negotiations reflect the unholy alliance between unions and big business. Big business (represented by Seifsa) has agreed to increases for the next three years without being concerned about the impact on small businesses.” The agreement sounds the death knell to thousands of smaller companies, Mashaba said.
Mashaba, who recently joined the Democratic Alliance (DA), said he was not surprised that Neasa did not sign. “The agreement will have a devastating on smaller firms and employment prospects. Some bargaining council agreements imposed unaffordable wages and conditions on smaller employers who consequently reduced their workforce and could not employ more workers.”