“Trade Union Solidarity wants a forensic audit launched to investigate financial irregularities and maladministration that are said to have crippled the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council.
On Tuesday, the Labour Court in Johannesburg granted the union’s application to have the council placed under administration following two years of irregularities that rendered its dispute-resolution function defunct. There is also a big backlog of disputes.
The council is the biggest in the manufacturing sector, responsible for labour relations and negotiations between 10,000 companies and more than 340,000 workers”.
Solidarity gets nod for metals council probe: Theto Mahlakoana – 15.06.2017- BusinessLive published by Business Day [subscription required]
A former senior commissioner at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, Afzul Soobedaar, was appointed administrator.
Although Solidarity said that it would wait for the findings of the court-appointed administrator, it did not rule out the possibility of pursuing charges if any employee of the council had acted illegally.
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The ruling by the court also set a precedent, raising questions about the state of other bargaining councils in SA.
The decision comes at the start of what is expected to be a tough wage-negotiations season in the engineering and metals sector, with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s 15% wage-increase demand already rejected by employers.
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Healy said the ruling also raised questions on the viability and future of bargaining councils, a debate that had continued for some time now, after some sectors that included gold mining, chose to forego centralised bargaining.
What surprised Healy though, was that a council of this magnitude found itself in the position it did.
He warned that it might not be the only council in trouble.