“The ministerial team of the Department of Labour has tabled a settlement proposal further out of reach of SMME's (small, medium and micro enterprises). What is particularly disappointing is that the ministerial team proposed a settlement arrangement which may satisfy the trade unions but accelerate job losses in the metal industry,” said Gerhard Papenfus, chief executive of the National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA).
(WATCH VIDEO: South Africa's National Union of Metal Workers go on strike)
This follows after the ministerial team met with all parties involved in the negotiations on Saturday to try and broker a deal to end the strike.
NEASA explained that while the on-going industrial action is hurting the economy, a deal cannot be made just for the sake of ending the strike as the long term consequences may prove to be even more severe.
“Parties in the industry stand before unenviable choices: we can do a deal which will bring an immediate end to the strike but will, over time, speed up the downward spiral the industry already finds itself in, or we can continue to urgently search for a solution which will really serve employers and employees already in the industry, as well as those outside of the industry, entrepreneurs and the unemployed, who are searching for an opportunity in the industry, and in doing so serve the interests of South Africa,” added Papenfus.
(WATCH VIDEO: Update on the NUMSA wage strike)
“We urge the unions to look beyond the short-term interests of their members and to act in the long-term interests of the industry, which will bring about more sustainable benefits for everybody.”
(WATCH VIDEO: NUMSA continues with strike)
NEASA stated that all parties are expected to meet again on Monday night to re-negotiate.