2 minute read
8 Sep 2014
2:37 pm

Numsa loses lock-out legal bid

Numsa's application to the Labour Court in Johannesburg, to declare the lock-out being conducted by National Employers' Association of SA (Neasa) illegal, was dismissed with costs on Monday, the association said.

FILE PICTURE: National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

The application was brought by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) at the end of August, Neasa said in a statement.

“After applying his mind to the matter for more than a week, Judge Lagrange this morning found that Neasa’s lock-out of Numsa’s members is legal.”

Chief executive Gerhard Papenfus said the ruling was a “massive victory” for labour relations in South Africa.

“We are grateful that the judge applied his mind to all the facts presented to him and that he found in favour of Neasa,” he said.

“Neasa maintains that the lock-out is not compulsory for its members and will be enforced only by those employers who wish to execute the lock-out.”

Neasa was adamant it would continue to support the lock-out until its demands were sufficiently considered.

“The driving force behind this lock-out is that Numsa and the other unions must meet with us to resolve Neasa’s outstanding demands in order to get the lock-out lifted,” Papenfus said.

The judgment enforced Neasa’s view that its members could not be bound by an agreement between the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa).

Neasa has refused to sign the recent wage settlement agreement reached between Seifsa, Numsa, and five other unions.

At the time of the signing of the settlement, Seifsa said it signed on behalf of the 24 federated associations and confirmed that two associations were still involved in internal mandating processes.

It said the Border Industries Employers Association (BIEA) representative was not present at the meeting, and Neasa did not sign the settlement agreement.

Neasa announced that its members would lock out union members who participated in the strike because its demands had not been considered during the recent industry negotiations.

It wanted a standardised entry-level wage and a revamped exemptions policy. It has offered an eight percent across-the-board salary increase.