The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) is continuing to threaten strike action in the ongoing wage negotiations in the engineering sector. The union has stuck to its demands of a 15% raise while employers are offering 5.3%.

Charles Castle AfriBusinessThe South African Engineers and Founders Association (Saefa) has said that Numsa seems to have no desire to avoid a strike in the sector despite the negative financial impact it could have on employees. Numsa, however, has described itself at “the point of no return”.

“Wage talks between ourselves and the employer began in early June. We deadlocked already by the middle of June and since then we've been engaged with four wage talks that have failed. Essentially, we're very far apart on the demands that have been placed on the table,” says Phakamile Hlubi, acting Numsa spokesperson.

“In engineering, Numsa has worked really hard to secure a minimum rate of R40 an hour and what's happening now is that employers are actually trying to erode that benefit and all of that hard work. And what they've put on the table is that they want workers who are coming into the sector, young new workers, to earn half of that which is R20 an hour. That is effectively what has brought us to the point where we are now on the verge of a national shut down.”

Should the strike go ahead, AfriBusiness has said it would cause “irreparable damage” to the economy. Charles Castle Labour Law Advice Unit Manager at AfriBusiness, says that the strike would harm, rather than benefit, the workers, adding that if Numsa proceeds with its strike, the sector should expect more retrenchments and job losses.

“We understand the economic difficulties that employees in these sectors face. Considering the current economic situation of South Africa, it is irrational and unjust to employers and workers alike to embark on a strike as a result of unreasonable demands. Employers will be left with no other alternative but to commence with retrenchments as a result of affordability and profit margins,” Castle said in a statement.

If the strike goes ahead, foundries, electronics and telecommunications, the plastic and fabrication industries, machinery and equipment, electrical engineering, basic metals, heavy and light engineering, as well as construction engineering companies, will be affected. Companies which supply critical parts to the auto industry, including Auto Industrial, Bell Equipment, CBI, Union Carriage and Wagon, Dorbyl, Marley Pipe System and Dana Spicer Axle among others, could also be affected by the strike, while ongoing work at Eskom power stations Medupi, Kusile and Ingqurha, may also incur further delays.

Image credit.


African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input


Invalid Input

Invalid Input