The opening gambits have been played by business and labour in the chess game of wage negotiations that have come to define the collective bargaining landscape in the metals & engineering (M&E) sector.

Speaking to the CEOs of the two major employer organisations this past week — Lucio Trentini of Steel & Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) and Gerhard Papenfus of the National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa) — and reading through the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) demands, it is clear a long, cold, discontented winter awaits. This is especially disheartening given all the work that has gone into laying the groundwork for more pragmatic talks over the past three years.  ..

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