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Bosses warn of metal sector jobs bloodbath

Johannesburg – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) “reluctantly”accepted a government proposal to raise wages by up to 10%, it said on Tuesday.

Seifsa said striking unions had until Friday to accept the offer, which it warned could lead to heavy job losses.

Under the proposal put forward by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, Seifsa agreed to raise wages by between 7% and 10% over the next three years.

This would “inevitably lead to massive job losses” as companies sought to cut costs because they would not be able to pass on the increases to their customers, Seifsa chief executive Kaizer Nyatsumba said in a statement.

The Federation also said it would not sign the agreement unless parts of the country’s current wage negotiation guidelines were amended to scrap two-tier bargaining at the plant and national level.

It was not immediately clear if the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and other smaller unions would accept the deal.

Source – News24