Dispelling untruths about the historic standstill agreement

South African Engineers and Founders Association (SAEFA) Executive Director Gordon Angus writes: “Many of you will have seen propaganda sent out by SEIFSA referring to the adoption of their agreement with the trade unions. It’s unfortunate (although not surprising), that SEIFSA is once again being extremely liberal with the truth in this circular.”

“In terms of sections 31 and 32 of the LRA, in order for an extension of an agreement to occur, the agreement needs to be adopted as an agreement of a bargaining council. At the Manco of 1 September 2020, SEIFSA and the trade unions proposed that their agreement be formally adopted as an agreement of the MEIBC. This did not happen.”

“In fact, the President of the MEIBC did not even allow the matter to go to a vote, as the negotiations which preceded the signing of their agreement did not comply with the MEIBC Constitution.”

“If you look very carefully, you will notice that the letter actually never says that the agreement has been adopted as an agreement of the Council (as I’ve explained, a requirement of the LRA for extension). It talks about the fact that the parties (i.e. SEIFSA and the unions) have adopted their agreement. Well, of course they have – it’s their agreement! It was “adopted” the minute they agreed!”

“The reason why they’ve sent this circular out is to create the impression that their agreement has been adopted by the Council (which it HAS NOT) and that it may be extended – something that SAEFA and other employers organisations will not allow.”

“SEIFSA maintains that the rolling over of their agreement will somehow save jobs and the economy. I beg to differ. This agreement is stifling the industry, which has been losing jobs in real terms for over two decades. SAEFA, on the other hand, through resisting the extension of this agreement, has enabled it’s members to implement the SAEFA New Entrant Wage Structure, which allows new employees to be taken on at affordable levels, something which has actually created employment opportunities for people.”

For more information visit www.saefa.org.za