Sat Oct 22 20:13:37 SAST 2016

Companies bow to striking workers - Solidarity

By unknown | Jul 11, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

Trade unions have succeeded in getting better wage increases after the strike by metal and engineering workers yesterday, said trade union Solidarity.

"Cape Gate offered a 15percent increase for artisans and 20percent for technicians. Barloworld offered a 10percent increase plus a R1500 skills allowance, and Stainless Fabricators an additional 12percent increase, bringing the total increase to 20percent," Solidarity said yesterday.

Talks on additional increases for skilled workers are in progress with at least another six large employers in the sector.

"We foresee that these offers will result in a flood of reviews of the salaries of skilled employees in the industry," said Dirk Hermann, deputy general secretary of Solidarity.

"We expect that the employers will make a new offer. The first day of the strike put them under such pressure that we anticipate reaching an agreement before the end of the week," Hermann said.

The trade union claims about 70percent of the 260000 employees in the industry stayed away from work and about 20000 workers took part in protest marches.

In the meantime, Solidarity has announced that many employers outside of the metal and engineering sector are making special offers to skilled staff.

Hermann said: "Skills are subject to supply and demand. We are experiencing a skills shortage, which means that skills are more expensive.

"The number of artisans in South Africa is currently about 10percent of what it was 20 years ago and our country needs almost twice as many artisans as the available number," he added.

"South Africa has one engineer for every 3200 citizens - there is one engineer for every 150 people in countries like India and China and one engineer for every 250 to 300 people in Europe," Hermann commented.


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