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The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) is preparing for mass action it describes as the "the mother of all battles" in the plastics and engineering sectors. In correspondence seen by Business Day, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim urged regional secretaries to undertake a "fighting campaign involving every factory to defend collective bargaining and improve workers’ wages". This, as the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) warns of "dysfunctionalities" in SA’s collective bargaining system. Acting senior commissioner for mediation and collective bargaining Shimane Kgantse told a mining forum last week that the practice was characterised by lengthy wage negotiations and protracted industrial action that is marred by intimidation and violence and challenges negotiated outcomes. "For the past 15 to 16 years, we are still negotiating in the same manner, nothing has changed, it means that we are not learning anything," he said. Numsa represents about 120...

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