Tebogo Msimanga |
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has received a proposal from the mediator in the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council SARPBAC. Wage talks deadlocked between unions and employer associations, namely, the South African Bus Employers Association (SABEA) and the Commuters Bus Employers Organisation (COBEA), following wage negotiations which began in January this year.
NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said the mediator has tabled a proposal which they are taking to members for them to consider. “We are giving members time to apply their minds and decide whether they will accept the wage proposal, or not. As a result of this, we have decided that we will not embark on a strike during the Easter long weekend. We will be consulting members on the proposal which has been tabled by employers, and seeking a mandate from them”.
Jim added that they will communicate the decision on the proposal after they have met as part of the National Bargaining Forum, which is the formal negotiating platform with employers and labour, possibly on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the availability of all parties. “We have noted that a particular union is claiming that NUMSA is intending to sign the proposal. That is not true. The facts are, that there is currently no agreement in the bus passenger sector, and the consultation we are embarking on must not be interpreted as a sign that the union has accepted an offer”.
Jim reiterated that the purpose of the consultation is to give members space and the time to make up their minds, “and for them to instruct the union on the way forward”.