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Seifsa New Main Agreement

Seifsa New Main Agreement

We are aware that there are discussions between the parties to this SEIFSA agreement with a view to extending the agreement for a period of 12 months. However, even if these discussions are successful, such an agreement will still only bind SEIFSA members and will have no influence on other employers in the steel industry. The five unions that signed the agreement are the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Solidarity, the United Association of South Africa, the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa and the South African Equity Workers Association. The only agreement that existed (it no longer existed, since it expired on 30 June 2020) was a SEIFSA agreement with some unions that involved only SEIFSA members. The collective agreement, adopted in accordance with the Labour Relations Act, now enjoys collective agreement status and marks a turning point in which enterprise and work together recognize the devastating effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on businesses and workers throughout the metallurgical and mechanical engineering sector, says Seifsa. We warn employers in the sector to be extremely careful and not to interfere in a totally inappropriate and unaffordable agreement. Many of you will have seen SEIFSA (below) send propaganda about accepting its agreement with the unions. It is regrettable (although not surprising) that SEIFSA is once again extremely liberal with the truth in this circular. In sections 31 and 32 of the LRA, the agreement must be adopted as an agreement of a negotiating council for an agreement to be renewed. At the Manco on 1 September 2020, SEIFSA and the trade unions proposed that their agreement be formally adopted by the MEIBC.

That is not what happened. Indeed, the President of the MEIBC did not even allow the matter to be put to a vote, because the negotiations that preceded the signing of his agreement were not in accordance with the Meibc constitution. If you look very closely, you will see that the letter never says that the agreement was accepted as a Council agreement (as I explained, an application to renew the LRA). It indicates that the parties (i.e. SEIFSA and the unions) have agreed. Of course, they have it — that is their consent! It was ”accepted” when they agreed! The reason they sent this circular is to give the impression that their agreement has been adopted by the Council (which it does not have) and that it can be extended – something that SAEFA and other employers` organisations will not allow. The main contract is a collective agreement between employers` organisations and trade unions, which form the Council of Metallurgical and Mechanical Industries.

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