Wage Agreement Ends Month Long Steel and Engineering Strike in South Africa

By Skills Junction

South Africa’s nationwide steel and engineering strike has finally come to an end after a four-week struggle saw many analysts fear for the future of some of the country’s key sectors.

The country’s biggest trade union, Numsa (The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa) has confirmed that its 220,000 striking members had now accepted a deal with employers consisting of a three-year fixed annual wage increase of 10 percent for the lowest paid employees.

The final deal is a far cry from the initial demands of Numsa, as well as the initial steadfast rebuttal from their advisories, but the country will now be relieved that no further economic damage will be caused by the halt in industry.

It has been estimated that as much as R300 million a day has been the cost to the engineering sector as a result of the strikes which began nearly a month ago and affected 12,000 companies from leading multinationals to SMEs.

South Africa’s industrial fragility stems back even further than the beginning of July, with the five month platinum belt strike immediately preceding the recent tussle, making it one of the most significant periods in the country’s recent economic history.

Of today’s more promising news, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa)’s Chief Executive, Kaizer Nyatsumba hoped that "all parties would honour the letter and spirit of the agreement".

Numsa's General Secretary, Irvin Jim was more vocal, stating that the agreement was "a product of sweat and bitter struggles by our toiling workers for a living wage… and a four week long resolute battle to do away with colonial apartheid-era wage dispensation in the engineering and metals sector."

Share
Share

Featured Articles

Musk’s multibillion hostile Twitter takeover – the timeline

As billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk buys Twitter for US$44bn, we draw up a timeline, from the buying of shares to the critical tweets and unsolicited bid

Sustainable moves businesses can make to win customers, IBM

With half of consumers saying environmental sustainability is more important today than a year ago, businesses should up their eco action, says IBM report

Banks and consultancies top workplaces to grow career in UK

Financial and professional services firms rank highest in LinkedIn Top 25 best workplaces list – from Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC, to PwC, Deloitte and EY

Top 10 women in technology in Europe

Leadership & Strategy

The value of ESG links sustainability to business returns

Sustainability

Top 10 European football clubs by revenue 2022 – Deloitte

Corporate Finance