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Metals, engineering collective agreement to be submitted for gazetting

Parties to the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) have voted in favour of the extension of the three-year agreement reached in the metals and engineering sector in 2017.

Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) operations director Lucio Trentini on Tuesday said the employer parties supporting the extension of the 2017 to 2020 agreement represented 65% of the employees working for companies that are registered with the MEIBC.

Seifsa-affiliated employer associations represent 58% of these employees.

“In the case of a Section 32 extension, where an agreement is negotiated and concluded by bargaining agents who represent and employ the majority of employees falling within the council’s coverage, the extension of a bargaining council agreement is seen as a reasonable and necessary mechanism of sectoral collective bargaining,” Trentini said.

Following the meeting on Tuesday, the collective main agreement concluded on August 23, 2017, between the 21 Seifsa-affiliated employers’ organisations and the industries’ five trade unions, from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020, will now be submitted to the Department of Labour with a request for the Labour Minister to gazette the agreement and make it legally binding on all employers falling within its scope, excluding the plastics sector.

During the meeting on Tuesday, the five trade unions which are party to the council, all supported the extension of the main agreement to nonparties.

These trade unions were the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, South African Wind Energy Association, Solidarity and Uasa.

The 21 Seifsa-affiliated employer organisations and the Plastics Converters Association of South Africa (PCA-SA), also voted in favour of the extension.

Together, the 21 Seifsa-affiliated associations, which represent small, medium-sized and big businesses across the sector, and the PCA-SA account for 69% of the employees employed by all the employer organisations on the bargaining council.