Numsa general secretary, Irvin Jim, is misinformed about the real picture of the wage disparity between black and white workers in the metal and engineering industry. That is the opinion of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa).
Reacting to Jim’s statement that ‘black’ workers in the metal industry are earning between R3 000 and R4 000 a month Neasa says that the ‘cost to company’ of employing an unskilled and inexperienced worker in this industry ranges between R8 000 and R9 000 per month.
Further, the ridiculous blanket wage structure that Numsa, with the full backing of Seifsa, imposes on employers’ regardless of their size is unrealistic and unfair on small industry players, bemoans Neasa chief executive, Gerhard Papenfus.
“The Numsa/Seifsa approach also does not differentiate between an employer who is a primary steel producer in an economic hub in South Africa or a small downstream manufacturer in a rural area.”
Ironically, according to Numsa itself, the manufacturing sector has lost 250 000 jobs over the last five years. Largely, this has been attributed to the repeated employer and industry hostile agreements.