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Looking back on the Metal Industry Strike

Aug 6, 2014





 "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities."


– Albert Einstein –


Dear NEASA member


Here are a few interesting remarks made by role players in the Industry and leaders in government:-



"… the trend of awarding double-digit pay increases could yet hurt the economy …", Gill Marcus, Governor of the Reserve Bank.



We "… reluctantly accepted the Ministerial proposal on wage offers …" (a double-digit 10 percent) and "… it would inevitably lead to massive job losses …", SEIFSA CEO on 22 July 2014.


"It is clear that the power resides with the unions", SEIFSA CEO on 28 July 2014 on eNCA (as reported on 29 July 2014 by The Citizen).


… that's after SEIFSA went into these negotiations with a list of demands aimed at addressing the downward spiral the Industry finds itself in.



"This is a massive victory …" and "The victory is ours …", NUMSA's Irwin Jim at the signing the SEIFSA/trade union July '14 agreement.



"There is no counterweight in society if you have cowards in business. You don't have to keel over every time someone stands up and says 'I disagree' ", Trevor Manuel, Planning Minister, 2009.



Anyone suggesting that NEASA's approach in these negotiations has a racist undertone or aimed at suppressing workers, is malevolent.


The contrary is rather true: our approach, also in these negotiations, was to create an Industry environment in which growth could be stimulated, which is the only way to create employment and alleviate poverty. We believe that creation of wealth can not be legislated; only economic growth can achieve that; or as JF Kennedy said: "A rising tide lifts all boats."


The best opportunity we had to negotiate a better industry for all was during the recent negotiations. We missed that opportunity. The unions refused to discuss NEASA's demands; they elected SEIFSA as the easy target and the result is a lost opportunity. The decline of the Industry will continue.


Since NEASA's demands were not addressed at all, we have not signed the agreement and continued with a lock-out (an option open to employers which could do it). We will continue to do everything in our part to serve the interests of especially SMME's in the Industry.


If you can’t say 'no' now, when do you plan on doing that?


Kind regards


Gerhard Papenfus


"Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon",

– Winston Churchill –


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