Numsa accepts wage increase
It is back to work today for members of the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) after the union decided to follow Solidarity's lead and signed the new wage offer.
Numsa general secretary Silumko Nondwangu said the union had secured a three-year skills development agreement with the employers.
He said the union was concerned that the lower F and G grades were being phased out.
"We agreed that over the three-year period from now, grades F and G will be collapsed into grade H.
"Through skills training our members would be able to move up the career ladder from grade H," said Nondwangu.
According to Nondwangu there are presently 13 grades in the sector, which will be reduced to 11.
The majority of Numsa members are in the lower grades.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa), which represents 9 000 companies in the sector, made a final wage offer of eight percent for higher grade employees and nine percent for those on the lower grade last Wednesday.
Numsa had initially refused to sign the offer, accusing Solidarity of being opportunistic.
It however, signed the agreement on Friday after further negotiations with Seifsa on Thursday.