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Employers' Association Reacts To Landmark Wage Agreement For Steel Industry

NUMSA members protesting

On Thursday the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) confirmed that they have reached an above inflation wage agreement which would see workers’ salaries increase by 6%.

By accepting the offer from the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa), the nation wide industry strike came to an end. It is estimated that workers lost more than R100 million wages while the steel industry lost over R500 million in steel output.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim said that some union members were mixed in terms of their feelings towards the wage agreement ‘‘We will compromise and accept the current offer from Siefsa at 6% on minimum for the sole purpose of settling the current strike in the best interest of our workers”.

“It is Numsa members who have paid a heavy price during the strike and it is in their interest that the union does everything possible to ensure that we resolve the strike as soon as possible as each and every day in a strike is a sacrifice”, added the union's general secretary.

The National Employers' Association of South Africa (NEASA) CEO Gerhard Papenfus says that the strike has caused major backlogs for the industry. He says that the industry will never recover to a point where it would have been if the strike had not gone ahead.

“The penalties that companies are paying simply because they haven't made their timetables that's huge. Companies don't close, they recover but you can't make up what you've lost” concluded Papenfus.

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