WAGE TALKS LOOM
Labour federation girds for bargaining season
SA’s challenging socioeconomic climate will put pressure on talks, analysts warn
Labour analysts expect the newly formed South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) to make its mark when the 2017 collective bargaining season begins. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the federation’s biggest union, is set to begin negotiations in the metals and engineering sector in June with an opening demand of a 15% wage increase. The analysts said Saftu would use Numsa as a vehicle to position itself against rival federation Cosatu’s unions, while the challenging socioeconomic situation in the country would also push labour to approach bargaining with greater zeal. Labour analyst Andrew Levy said there was a high probability of a strike in the metals and engineering sector as a result. "Numsa is the single, biggest breakaway in Cosatu and now they have a lot to prove. There’s a good chance we will have a strike in the metals bargaining council," said Levy. Dale McKinley, who is also a labour analyst, said some political power play was inevitable as Saftu ...