An external legal opinion obtained by ASEFA agrees that the SeifSA-NUMSA collective agreement cannot be legally extended to non-parties and that the request for serious legal intervention, two and a half months after the conclusion of the agreement, reinforces this position. The 19 employers` organisations affiliated to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) and the five trade unions in the sector formally adopted on 1 September the main standstill agreement reached in August for the period 2020-2021. Recently, we learned that SEIFSA was worth a webinar to explain to the ignorant public the benefits of a “master deal” of the MEIBC. Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, a spokesman for Numsa, said late Tuesday that they had accepted Seifa`s proposal to postpone wage negotiations to 2020 and postpone the terms of the current collective agreement until June 30, 2021. The collective agreement, adopted in accordance with the Employment Relations Act, now enjoys the status of a sectoral collective agreement and marks a turning point where companies and employees have jointly recognised the devastating effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on companies and employees in the entire metallurgy and mechanical (M&E) sector, Seifsa said. The simple fact is that there is no predominant “main agreement” in the steel industry. In fact, there has been no “main agreement” in the last ten years. Seifsa, unions adopt the main status quo agreement We warn employers in the industry not to be very careful and not to get entangled in a totally inappropriate and unaffordable agreement. We are aware that there are discussions between the parties to this SEIFSA agreement to extend the agreement for a period of 12 months, but even if these discussions are successful, such an agreement will still only bind seiFSA members and will not affect other employers in the steel industry.
Hlubi-Majola welcomed the decision to extend the current agreement until next year, as it “will maintain the status quo and maintain the standard of living of our members during this period.” The main agreement is a collective agreement between the employers` organisations and the trade unions which form the metallurgy and mechanical engineering bargaining council. .