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MIBCO hosted the third mediation session in pursuit of resolving the dispute that arose between NUMSA and the various employer parties, including the RMI, during the 2016 round of wage- and substantive negotiations, on the 13th of 14th of September 2016.
At the commencement of this session, NUMSA was still apprehended on a long list of demands, no least of which included wage increases amounting to 10% per year, on actual wages, for the next three years, as well as an adjustment of the Industry threshold and the establishment of a mega-bargaining council that would see the inclusion of the automotive manufacturers, oil companies / refineries and the new tyre- and rubber companies, into the same bargaining council as the present retail motor industry.
The RMI’s proposals amounted to wage increases on minimum wages (with concomitant monetary increases for those employees earning more than the relevant minimum wage) of 5% per year for the next three years, a gradual adjustment of the threshold and the retention of the current bargaining council composition.
The third session of mediation witnessed robust and lively engagement between the parties and it ended in the RMI tabling a wage increase offer to NUMSA amounting 7%, 6% and 6% for each year over the next three years, again on minimum wages (with concomitant monetary increases for those employees earning more than the relevant minimum wage), linked to a gradual increase in the threshold to R205,000.00 in 2019. All other demands from NUMSA were rejected with an insistence by the RMI on the retention of the current arrangements.
The RMI’s offer in relation to Chapter III (Sector 1 – Component Manufacturers) included actual wage increases of 7.5%, 7% and 6% per year over the next three years linked to a gradual increase in the wage threshold to R190,000.00 in 2019. In addition, the RMI’s offer in relation to Sector 6 (motor vehicles sales) will be restricted to minimum wage increases only, i.e. no guaranteed monetary increases for employees earning in excess of the minimum wage.
The RMI’s offer, as indicted above, will be subject to the publication and extension of such an agreement to non-parties (i.e. employers that are not members of the RMI), the assurance of a set-off clause aimed at ensuring the employer that gave increases prior to the publication of the new agreement, is not prejudiced by having to grant a second increase, and the linking of wage increases in Sector 5 (fuel retail) to an concomitant increase in the retail petrol profit margin.
NUMSA’s senior leadership did not respond materially to the RMI’s latest offer, however they undertook to take this offer to their National Executive Committee for consideration during its meeting scheduled for the 15th of September 2016, after which NUMSA will respond.
NUMSA further made a substantial concession when it effectively relinquished its demand for a mega-bargaining council, in favour of the alignment of the Chapter III (Sector 1) wage agreement, to that which applies to the automotive manufacturers. This movement on the part of NUMSA, is considered a substantial concession in relation to the rest of the retail motor industry.
NUMSA undertook to revert to the RMI negotiating team in regard to its latest offer and it is expected that the parties will re-convene in the near future to receive NUMSA’s reply. The RMI will, as usual, keep its valued Members appraised of developments in this regard.
Should you have any queries in this subject regard, please do not hesitate to call your nearest RMI Regional Office for further particulars.