Sacrificing the steel industry to save Mittal

The Steel Industry is in troubled waters. There are many indicators to this effect, but job losses is an important one. According to the MEIBC, the Steel Industry has lost 150,000 jobs over the last ten years, of which 40 000 jobs were lost in 2015 and 9,000 in the month of November 2015 alone. The MEIBC is predicting a further 30 000 job losses in the Steel Industry this year.


Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) warns to shut its doors

According to South African labour news and Business Times, the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) warns to shut its doors if companies and unions do not agree to an 18% levy increase.

The council, which services about 300,000 employees and more than 10,000 employers, has not had a levy increase since 2011 and now has a R14m deficit.  

It is unable to pay some service providers and has temporarily halted dispute resolution services due to lack of funds.  The council has been asking for an increase in levies almost every year since 2011, but this has been rejected by employers because of slow economic growth and the contraction in the steel industry.  

The levy collection was also affected by an industry strike in 2014 as well as a four-month delay in the renewal of the levy last year.

MEIBC general secretary Thulani Mthiyane is concerned that should the council close or cut its 150 staff members, the industry would deteriorate into a noncomplying and deregulated one.  

Employers' organisation Seifsa is encouraging employers to look at the big picture.  Irvin Jim of steelworkers union Numsa says the reason the council had not received any increase on levies was that there was a level of hostility from employers who were against collective bargaining. 

The council will meet with employers and unions on 11 May to ask for the 18% increase in the levy.



South African labour news and Business Times

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