Urgent Application lost but the fight continues

As previously communicated, NEASA brought an urgent application in the Labour Court to interdict the MEIBC from requesting the Minister of Employment and Labour to extend the Seifsa/NUMSA 'Main Agreement' to non-parties.

The Labour Court handed down judgement today and dismissed NEASA’s application for an interdict.

Although this judgement will allow the Minister to process the request for extension made by the Council, employers in the Industry should not lose hope.

This judgement does not spell the end of the road, it is in fact, only the beginning. NEASA started a similar battle almost a decade ago and triumphed after 7 years of litigation. During this 7 year period, we nullified each and every one of their self-serving agreements. We will follow a similar route and pursue any and all legal avenues to prevent or set aside any extension of this agreement.

Our fight is:

  • for each and every employer to decide the wage level of its staff, based on its own operational needs;
  • against this self-proclaimed right of big business, situated in the economic hubs, to force upon small business, in rural areas, a similar wage; and
  • the hypocrisy of employers signing this deal and then applying for exemption, simultaneously supporting the extension thereof to others who chose not to be part of this deal.  

There is no alternative but to continue this fight to the bitter end.

The agreement which this cabal wishes to extend to 90 percent of employers in the Steel Industry (those employers which are not party to that agreement), will demand a minimum wage (cost-to-company) of R78.00 per hour, for an unskilled employee. Very few companies can afford this. If this is eventually realised, it will cause a job bloodbath in the Industry and contribute to overall socio-economic instability.
We will keep members abreast of developments in this regard.