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.
Wiseman Khuzwayo reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) said on Wednesday that lockouts in the metal and engineering industries sector were widespread and that an estimated 200 companies had implemented them.
The metals and engineering sector is breathing a sigh of relief as Irvin Jim, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (NUMSA) general secretary urged the unions 200,000 striking members to return to work on Tuesday (29 July 2014.) The agreement will see wage increases of as much as 10% per year for the next three years. The agreement will be officially signed off on Tuesday afternoon.
There is still no relief for the metals and engineering sectors from the three-week strike by National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA,) as members consider the new offer on the table.
Fin24 reports that SEIFSA, the main employer body in the metal and engineering industries sector, has accepted a government proposal to raise wages by as much as 10%, raising hopes of an end to a strike in the sector by more than 200,000 workers.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) would not get back to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) with a new wage offer, as the organisation has exhausted its mandate, CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba asserted on Tuesday, 15 July 2014.
South Africa's metalworkers' union Numsa rejected the latest pay offer from engineering and steel sector employers on Sunday, saying black workers were still underpaid, and threatened to widen its two-week old strike.
Govan Whittles writes that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has reportedly rejected the latest offer from steel and engineering companies to end a wage strike that's now in its second week.