Engineering industry body receives notice of strike action

Mark Allix

THE South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) said on Friday it had received notice of strike action by the Building Construction and Allied Workers Union (BCAWU) starting at the end of February.

This comes as amid tumultuous internal union politics and violent and deadly strikes in the country’s mining industry.

It also comes as Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant seeks to extend the collective bargaining agreements contained in the Labour Relations Act to nonparties.

This has been challenged on many fronts.

“Safcec has received notice of a strike by BCAWU for February 28 and we are applying for an interdict‚” Annemie Cowley‚ the federation’s marketing and communications manager‚ said on Friday.

The employers’ federation had already given BCAWU a notice of interdict.

BCAWU general secretary Narius Moloto said on Friday that the employer’s body had contravened the constitution of the engineering sector bargaining council by “privately” negotiating a wage increase last year with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Mr Moloto said that this came after BCAWU had signed a “final” wage offer by employers in September last year of 10% for lower-paid workers and 8% for higher-graded jobs.

He said the NUM was subsequently offered a “better wage settlement” of 2% more an hour.

This was to be implemented at the end of March‚ and now BCAWU wanted to go on strike‚ he said.

“You cannot have separate negotiations with BCAWU and with the NUM.

They (employers) are refusing to give BCAWU the same as the NUM‚” he said.

“If employers enter into negotiations with one party it becomes an issue.

We want to be part of these negotiations.”

Mr Moloto said that employers were seeking to “destroy” BCAWU.

He also said the prospective strike by BCAWU was legal‚ after the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration in January had given the union a notice of nonresolution. © BDlive 2014


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