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I wish all of our valued members, industry stakeholders and staff the very best for 2019. We enter the new year with both excitement and trepidation – the former, because there are many changes happening around us, presenting opportunities, and the latter, because of the political and economic uncertainties that prevail.
We are presented with a wonderful opportunity in 2019 to give expression to our freedom and choice by casting our vote at the national general election scheduled for May this year. Democracy has come at a high price and is a treasure worth valuing and nurturing for our children’s sake. But democracy also places a huge responsibility on all of us to collectively determine the future through the vote we cast.
I urge you all to make good on your responsibility to cast your votes for a better South Africa, a better future and a better way of life for all our citizens.
Democracy finds a different, yet more tangible meaning in our industry through collective bargaining under the auspices of the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (MIBCO). As you know, the current three-year wage agreement will expire on 31 August 2019. Team RMI is already busy with planning for industry wage negotiations, scheduled to commence at the end of the second quarter of the year.
Collective bargaining represents the epitome of industrial democracy, where the will of the majority is codified into multi-year agreements that regulate industry conditions of employment. The terms of these agreements are strictly subject to the will of our Valued Members.
Consequently, the RMI will be circulating a schedule of mandating roadshows throughout the country, aimed at canvassing the views, needs and aspirations of our members regarding the outcomes of wage- and substantive negotiations. Members are urged to make every effort to attend these roadshows in order to air their views on what they deem to be the best possible outcome of the negotiating process. We need your mandate!
With the advent of a general election coinciding with the collective bargaining process, we anticipate a number of political themes to permeate their way into the negotiation agenda – such has been the history of our country. I want to reassure our members that the RMI will make every effort through its public relations and communication department, to keep members abreast of what is really happening around the bargaining table.
Mahatma Ghandi once said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. This year I challenge you to be that change. Exercise your freedom through your vote – individually and as a responsible corporate citizen.