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National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) withdraws strike action over the Easter weekend.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) withdraws strike action over the Easter weekend.

Numsa
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) withdraws strike action over the Easter weekend.—

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced that it has decided not to embark on strike action over the Easter weekend.

The union said it has been holding meetings with employer associations in the bus passenger sector, including the South African Bus Employers Association (Sabea) and the Commuter Bus Employer Association (Cobea).

Numsa initially announced its members would go on strike over the proposed wage increases.

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The union said withdrawing from the strike will enable further negotiations with Sabea and Cobea.

“We met for mediation under the auspices of the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (Sarpbac) and the employers have finally moved and tabled a revised offer which we will share with members for their consideration,” Numsa national spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said.

Sabea and Cobea have proposed a 4.5% increase across the board, which includes allowances.

The organisations have also decided against implementing increases only for workers who are currently employed, meaning the wage increase will also be applicable to those who join the company in the future. This would have created a two-tier system, said Hlubi-Majola.

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Numsa’s spokesperson says the organisations’ refusal to include allowances as part of the increase and the threat of a two-tier labour system were major sticking points in the negotiations. “We are glad the employer is proposing to withdraw those demands,” said Hlubi-Majola.

She added that strike action is still on the table.

“We will be engaging our members to find out how they feel about the proposal. However, we want to make it clear that the possibility of strike action remains, as long as we have not signed an agreement with the employer,” Hlubi-Majola said.

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Numsa will be meeting with the employers again on the 22 April to give them feedback.

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