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South African government presents new proposal to end metal workers’ strike

South Africa’s department of labour had made a proposal – details of which have been kept under wraps – aimed at bringing to an end the three-week old metal workers wage strike, it emerged on Monday.
This was disclosed by the leadership of workers belonging to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), which has 220 000 members nationally.
“This is a proposal from the department of labour. Employers are meeting today [Monday] to consider it. We expect the proposal to be formally tabled on Tuesday, at a council meeting [between the unions and the employers],” Sapa quoted NUMSA president, Andrew Chirwa, as having said.
The department and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) have been smoothing the progress of the course after discussions between the employers and the union came to a point where no progress could be made because of fundamental disagreement.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), which represents the steel companies, took back its provisional wage offer on Tuesday after NUMSA spurned it.
The provisional last employers’ offer was a 10 percent wage increase in 2014, 9.5 percent in 2015, and nine percent in 2016.
Chirwa said when the new salary offer had been officially tabled, NUMSA would turn to its members for a mandate to either take or cast-off the offer.
He labelled the projected salary offer from the employers as not being far from the union salary demands.
Over 200 000 Numsa members in the metal and engineering sector went on strike earlier this month, demanding a salary increase of 12 percent.  (VENTURES AFRICA)
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