Components makers, petrol stations sign wage deal

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA has signed a three-year settlement agreement with employers at the Motor Industries Bargaining Council
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA has signed a three-year settlement agreement with employers at the Motor Industries Bargaining Council
Image: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI

A three-year settlement agreement has been signed at the Motor Industries Bargaining Council between employers and a union, averting a possible strike that could have crippled component companies, petrol stations and car dealerships.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has been in drawn-out talks for months at the council, which is a broader bargaining forum.

The council incorporates component companies and associations such as the Fuel Retailers’ Association of Southern Africa and the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

The sectors represent about 306,000 workers with the settlement agreement — effectively a wage deal which expires on August 31 2022 — signed by a majority of the Numsa regions on Friday.

However, RMI has recommended the agreement be backdated to December 1 last year.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said the negotiations were tough due to the economic climate.

“But despite this we managed to secure higher wages, in particular for petrol station workers who are the lowest paid in the sector,” he said.

Workers at petrol stations and dealerships will get an 8%  increase for the first year and 7% for the second and third years.

We want to thank our officials for working tirelessly to secure these increases
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim

Those working at component companies will get a 7.5% increase for the first year and 7% for the remaining two years.

For those in the other sectors such as dealerships and repairs, a 6% increase was agreed for the first year, with 5.5% for the second and third years.

“We have also settled on an increase for the standby, tool- out and call-out allowance of 6% for the first year, and a 5.5% increase for the second and third year respectively,” Jim said.

“We want to thank our officials for working tirelessly to secure these increases and we urge them to continue to serve our members to the best of their abilities.”

Numsa’s original demand was a double-digit increase for all three years while a 5% increase was offered by the employers.

Talks almost fell to the wayside late last year as Numsa declared a dispute at the bargaining council after wage negotiations remained deadlocked for months.

Facilitators for the employers in the motor industry and Numsa met on August 29 in a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement.

Instead, the dispute was lodged against the Fuel Retailers’ Association, RMI and the National Employers’ Association of SA by Numsa.

RMI chief negotiator Jan Schoeman said schedules containing the wage rates were being finalised and would be circulated to the industry soon.

“The agreement will become effective once the minister of employment and labour [Thulas Nxesi] publishes and extends the terms of the agreement to all employers and employees in the industry, in the Government Gazette — a process that takes some time to complete.

He said no provisions were made for compulsory back-pay of increases, with the previous agreement lapsing  on August 31 last year. 

“Concluding these negotiations provides for labour stability until the next round of negotiations, which is scheduled for 2022,” Schoeman said.

 

 

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