The parties to MIBCO resumed the negotiation process aimed at securing a new Main Agreement for the next three years, on 01 August 2019.
As was to be expected, the third session, comprising 01 and 02 August 2019, yielded some progress for the first time given the urgency of securing a new wage- and substantive agreement, and the fact that the current agreement terminates at the end of August 2019.
By close of business of 01 August 2019, NUMSA tabled a proposed “package deal” comprising a number of elements that it views as the basis for a possible agreement. This “package deal” however, still contains a vast number of proposals that are in direct conflict with most of the RMI’s core values and principles, such as the maintenance of the current wage model and the retention of the peace clause. NUMSA’s proposal around wage increases is also still unrealistically high at 12%, across the board, for all sectors.
The RMI’s core negotiating team indicated to NUMSA that it was not in a position to respond to the proposed “package deal” on 02 August 2019, as it needed to revert back to its principles on the question of an appropriate response to the elements of the package deal constituting an attack on the RMI’s core business principles and values, such as business sustainability, affordability and the retention of jobs / job creation.
The parties agreed to adjourn the process and reconvene for the resumption of negotiations on 13 August 2019, when the RMI will respond to the NUMSA “package deal” with what it views as the most appropriate terms for a new wage- and substantive agreement for the next three years.
Sector 5 (fuel retail) negotiations, propagated by a unified employer team comprising the RMI / SAPRA, the FRA and NEASA, is taking place in parallel to the negotiations for the rest of the industry and substantial progress have been made on a number of process issues. The sector 5 employer team has however agreed amongst itself to issue a consilidated update report on 05 August 2019, detailing progress and keys issues under consideration.
The parties will continue with bilateral engagements in the meantime, in aid of further narrowing the issues and the substantive gap between what the employers consider an appropriate agreement, and what the trade unions have proposed. The RMI will continue to keep its valued members updated on progress in this regard.