Saefa and Solidarity reach historic settlement

Union says annual increase of 6% on the minimum wage scale will be granted for all rankings

Saefa and Solidarity reaches historic settlement 

4 October 2021

Solidarity announced today that it has entered into a historic agreement with the South African Engineers and Founders Association (Saefa). This came after Solidarity and Saefa reached the first settlement in almost a decade within the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC).

“Although it is a pity that the various employers’ organisations could not agree on the content for one overarching agreement, we are still extremely happy about the agreement reached with Saefa,” explained Willie Venter, Deputy General Secretary for the Metal and Engineering Industry at Solidarity. “We were forced by circumstances to start negotiating separately with employers, and given the current economic conditions, this agreement is fair and satisfactory.” 

In terms of the settlement, an annual increase of 6% on the minimum wage scale will be granted for all rankings, for the next three years, up to and including 2024. Furthermore, all other existing conditions and benefits will be retained.

“We are delighted that so many workers in this industry, who have had to go without any increases for years now, are now assured of a good increase for the next few years,” Venter explained.

Solidarity also welcomes Saefa’s undertaking that further negotiations could also lead to the scope of the agreement being extended to other divisions in the companies.

“Negotiations are still ongoing, but we are looking forward to the possibility of including departments such as administrative staff in this agreement at a later stage, and therefore not only technical, production and operational fields,” Venter said.

Solidarity further added that although no agreement has yet been reached with other employers’ organisations, the industry and the economy will not be able to handle large-scale strikes.

“Currently, we are not involved in disputes with other employers’ organisations. We are still negotiating and we want to engage in more talks with employers to reach an agreement. Therefore, we have taken the responsible decision and we are acting in accordance with the mandate of our members when we explain that we are not currently considering participating in strikes in the industry,” Venter concluded.

Issued by Willie Venter, Deputy General Secretary: Metal & Engineering, 4 October 2021