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Numsa wants 20% wage increase, medical aid for auto industry

The union and manufacturers’ association are poles apart.

The second round of wage negotiations between South Africa’s vehicle manufacturers and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is scheduled to take place this week, with the parties still poles apart in their offers and demands.

Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, national spokesperson for Numsa, confirmed that the union would be meeting the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (Ameo) in Port Elizabeth from Monday until Wednesday in an attempt to thrash out a new three-year wage and conditions of service agreement for the industry.

Hlubi-Majola said the previous three-year agreement had expired at the end of last month and Numsa had compromised from its initial demand in the current negotiations for a one-year agreement to a three-year agreement.

She said Ameo had also agreed that any agreement struck during these negotiations would be effective retrospectively from July 1.

Hlubi-Majola said Numsa was demanding a 20% wage increase in each year of the three-year agreement.

Ameo had offered a wage increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1% in the first year of a three-year agreement, and wage increases of CPI in years two and three of the wage agreement, she said.

Andile Dlamini, a spokesperson for Ameo, declined to confirm or deny the details of the wage offer made to Numsa by Ameo or that the three-year agreement, once signed, would be effective from July 1.

Dlamini said Ameo had decided not to discuss the outcomes of negotiations in the media until the final agreement has been signed.

Hoping for a repeat of the previous negotiations

The signing of the previous National Bargaining Forum (NBF) three-year wage agreement in 2016 was significant in that it marked the first time since 2007 and only the fifth time in the history of the sector’s collective bargaining process that it had been successfully negotiated without any disruption or work stoppages.

However, it has now become more difficult for unions to take their members out of strike because unions are required to first conduct a secret ballot and obtain the consent of the majority of their members before they are able to declare a deadlock and give employers 48 hours notice of strike action.

Hlubi-Majola said one of the most important demands being made by Numsa in these negotiations was for an industry medical aid.

“Currently medical aid is negotiated at plant level. We want one medical aid which will cover the entire auto industry,” she said.

Hlubi-Majola said another important demand by Numsa is that all workers at level 4 must be moved to level 5 because there is a problem with workers spending many years on one level.

“This is a sore point for our members who feel that it is unfair, especially as most of them have received the necessary training and work experience to be moved to the next level. This has a negative impact on their earning potential,” she said.

The automotive industry is vital to South Africa’s economy.

Mike Mabasa, executive director of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), said last month the industry contributes 6.9% to South Africa’s GDP and makes an extraordinary contribution to the country’s prosperity.

Mabasa said the industry directly employs 468 502 people in formal and informal jobs, with the auto sector accounting for 2.9% of the 16.2 million people employed in South Africa.

He added that total export earnings by the industry increased by 8.43% to R178.8 billion last year from R164.9 billion in the previous year and accounted for 13.9% of South Africa’s total exports.

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With these demands a lot more 4IR robots will make their way to our shores.

Less demanding, no overtime pay, no sick leave, no medical aid and higher average IQ.

When unemployment is sky high wages should be stagnant or dropping so more can be employed. A 20% increase is a definite good chance to “employ” robots and thus more unemployment.
Fire all the strikers and employ new staff at a lower rate as they are not experienced then train them. that one hell of a lot cheaper than giving an increase so that they can demand more.

20% increase for each year for three years!! I thought automobile industry was struggling currently!! This also does not promote investments so as to create more jobs to this country of ours of 27,5 plus of joblessness.
Even if this is a joke, it is not a funny joke to quote and want ridiculous way above average increase , worse for a sector which is currently struggling.

I do not understand also the sense entitlement of bonus, increase and job level upgrade in the public sector and some SA private companies that have unions!!
Where I worked , every year you signed a development plan and you also go through an appraisal interview quarterly for your year end POSSIBLE increase and level upgrade.
You were required to fulfill your signed documents requirements before being eligible. Level upgrade was even worse, you had to get a certain score three times in a row for three years before qualifying.
We also had limited number of available level upgrades per year no matter how many years you have been with a company.

Some people are lucky their increases, bonuses and level upgrades are pre determined Even if they do not perform!!

This is why SA is going down the drain quicker than a quick sand .

So who will foot the bill for the 20% increase? It will not be the overseas car buyer in an open competitive market. So that leaves SA; either via increased duty and cost on new cars or increased subsidies to the carmakers, funded by the taxpayer. In my view, neither are sustainable so NUMSA could soon have no increase, in fact, no work.

Even this local pensioner driver will not be buying a new car in her lifetime. The 13 year old low mileage, well maintained Daihatsu Sirion will do just fine.

““This is a sore point for our members who feel that it is unfair, especially as most of them have received the necessary training and work experience to be moved to the next level. This has a negative impact on their earning potential,” she said.”

Just because you have the training/skills to work at a higher level doesn’t mean that you current job requires that or that a vacancy exists at a higher level. In order to move up you may need skills other than the technical ones, eg leadership.

Why on earth a medical aid? That single medical aid to cover everybody is in the making. Soon the NHI will give brilliant and free medical services in stolen (read expropriation without compensation) private hospitals. Delivered by dedicated medical doctors and staff willing to work for a pittance, while singing Kumbaya. Does Numsa have no faith in their political masters?

If these people had the mental capacity to understand percentages, they would not be members of a socialist workers union in the first place. They do not comprehend the concepts of percentages of math. They actually want an R20 increase. The union leaders just want their request to sound sophisticated in an attempt to impress their clueless members.

NUMSA will collapse the economy. They need to be rained in. Their requests are damaging the economy and will cause further job losses. They need to be held accountable for their actions.

This NUMSA study proves beyond doubt that the smoking of Cannabis does have a detrimental effect on the mind and IQ. The disconnect from reality, hallucinations, paranoia, impaired ability to think and act rationally and total cognitive collapse is almost on par with that of an ANC politician…

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