On 24 May, a long and difficult negotiating process under the National Bargaining Council for the Sugar Manufacturing and Refining Industry finalised with an agreement that granted an 8 percent increase across the board on basic wages/salaries.
The agreement also grants a further ZAR 200 for all A Band employees and ZAR 150 for all B Ban employees effective on 1 November 2013. (ZAR 9.80 = USD 1.00)
The agreement covers some 5,000 factory workers, represented by three unions, FAWU (an IUF affiliate), UASA and NASARIEU, and it is signed with the Sugar Milling and Refining Employers Association (SMREA). It is effective from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.
Some outstanding issues yet to be agreed upon were referred to a so-called “works committee.” Among them, there is a housing allowance, a proposal to reduce the weekly working hours from 43 to 40, and to agree on a process to eliminate the “labour brokers” from the sector as of 1 April 2014. The latter is a mechanism to outsource jobs, as well as to casualise them.