23 November, 2016
National Minimum Wage Negotiation Developments
Below is an article that appeared in the Business Day
online newsletter regarding the above.
brief, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac)
advisory panel report came up with the following recommendations:
a national monthly minimum wage of R3 500 be legislated (Agriculture
& Forestry minimum wage currently R2 779.83 per month - if
implemented, it would mean a R721.17 (or 26.0%) increase in the minimum
wage currently paid).
ballots of affected trade union members be held before strike action
was proceeded with (this will hopefully curtail the incidence of and
duration of strike action).
certain sectors, including agriculture and forestry, be given special
dispensation regarding the implementation of any national minimum wage
legislation implemented (we don't know what this will result in at this
since the proposal to introduce a national minimum wage was Gazetted,
FSA has, through its submissions to DoL, repeated stressed that the
introduction thereof, if set at what the unions wanted (up to R14 500
per month) would lead to huge job losses in our Industry. Although
negotiations are still continuing regarding what the eventual national
wage will be set at, FSA's submissions, as well as those of AGRI SA and
BUSA have, I am sure, helped to moderate the level at which the national
minimum wage will be set.
the pronouncements made in the press yesterday, it looks like FSA's
endeavours (and that of AGRI SA & others) have paid off - this
could potentially save the Industry tens of Millions of Rands per annual
and, more importantly, save the jobs of thousands of workers.
will of course have to see what the minimum wage for agricultural /
forestry workers will be (currently R2 778.83 per month). FSA's
standpoint was that a national minimum wage, if introduced, should
only apply to workers who are not currently covered by a "Sectoral
Determinations" - which includes agricultural and forestry workers. It
seems as if the parties at Nedlac have accepted this standpoint.Members will kept up to date with any further developments.
National minimum wage: all the reaction
The broad agreement between business, labour and
government reached at the weekend, clearly does not apply to the actual amount
on the table
21 NOVEMBER 2016 - 14:02 PM GENEVIEVE QUINTAL
release of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac)
advisory panel report, which includes a proposed monthly minimum wage of
R3,500, has elicited a mixed reaction from trade unions and political parties.
ANC welcomed the report, which was released on Sunday, saying recommendations
were "sound, credible and clearly supported by clear evidence, including
technical submissions" made by business, labour, government and communities.
that a quantum has been proposed, Nedlac constituencies need to have an
opportunity to engage with the proposals contained in the report, including the
proposed level of the national minimum wage," spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.
constituencies are urged to proceed with urgency so that finality and certainty
can be achieved."
ANC said it was particularly pleased that Nedlac was about to finalise a
package that would reduce prolonged and violent strikes.
contrast, the EFF rejected the proposed national minimum wage of R3,500 a
month, saying that it favoured business at the expense of workers. The party
also said the proposal was against the exclusion of domestic and farm workers.
proposal will not lead to the desired resolution of the problem of inequality,
instead it is going to institutionalise these inequalities at low poverty
wages," spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
EFF had tabled a minimum wage of R4,500 a month in Parliament based on figures
minimum wage that is below R4,500 will not make any difference to the lives of
workers or the resolution of inequality in wages and actual living conditions,"
Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), which recently announced that it was
breaking away from labour federation Cosatu, welcomed the agreement on a
proposed national minimum wage, but was against the amount of R3,500 a month.
proposed a national minimum wage of R5,700 a month.
are concerned that the proposed figure of R3,500 seems to be ignorant of or
indifferent to this country as the widest unequal society on earth, in terms of
income distribution, and with abnormal poverty and unemployment rate given its
stage of economic development and endowment of natural resources and mineral
deposits, such as 70% of the world's platinum," general secretary Katishi
we will push for the [national minimum wage] to be as low as R5,700 a month and
for that, as Fawu, we will not only make submissions but wage campaigns because
this country cannot afford to be the case study of treble-challenges and social
ills of only 20% in quality [private] healthcare, selective access to education
to the elites (5% of the population) as those from poor and working class
backgrounds and so-called missing-middle are either financially excluded or
even academically excluded."
group Agri SA welcomed the proposed exemption for the farming sector.
SA called for "for in-depth research and consultation with all agricultural
role-players‚ especially farmers in drought-stricken areas".
chairman, Neil Hamman‚ said on Monday that "whilst labour cost is a major cost
driver‚ a contented labour force is equally essential for optimum production".
the intricate balance between wages and the sustainability of farming
enterprises will, however, result in unintended consequences such as job losses
and mechanisation‚" he said.
said: "Agri SA welcomes the fact that struggling farmers still will have access
to section 50 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act that makes provision
for exemptions from ministerial determinations.
also welcome the fact that the expert advisory committee recommended that a
lower mean apply to domestic and farm workers‚ depending on the circumstances."
Worst of both worlds
Institute of Race Relations says R3,500 a month it too low to really improve
the circumstances of existing workers, but is high enough that it will create
obstacles to job creations and the establishment of small businesses.
Source: Forestry South Africa / Business Day