Collective bargaining

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Three years ago the RMI’s wage negotiating team was knee-deep into the process of negotiating a new wage and substantive agreement, under the auspices of MIBCO, for the period September 2019 to August 2022. After many months of robust bargaining, a settlement agreement was eventually signed in January 2020 and only published in March 2020 for the three-year period ending August 2022.

This year, as RMI prepares to commence negotiations for the next wage increase, it is against the backdrop of an industry that has been heavily affected by the lockdown conditions which were in place for almost 24 months. This is just one of the factors that will inform its approach. It will also be considering the current rate of unemployment and retrenchment, as well as current and forecasted vehicle sales in the automotive retail sector. 

Furthermore, it will take into account the current and forecasted effects of Covid-19 on the economy, the current and forecasted consumer price index, the impact of interest rate increases and how these affect the RMI’s ability to fund expansive projects which may help it retain and create jobs, and, finally, the impact of fuel price increases on consumer behaviour and the associated impact on vehicle sales, maintenance and repairs. It also needs to take into consideration prevailing inflation rates over a three-year period, as well as any other measures that will aid the growth, sustainability, prosperity and stability of the automotive retail sector. These factors are central to the future sustainability of the industry, and therefore guide actions that must be taken to safeguard this sustainability. 

In preparation for discussions around wage adjustments, the RMI undertook the first series of mandated roadshows during May. MIWA attended these. These interactions made it possible for RMI  to gather members’ views around trade union demands as well as the hoped-for outcomes of the negotiations. 

The RMI is extremely grateful for the very useful input it has received thus far and urges all members to attend future mandate sessions. 

Remember, this is your opportunity to inform the negotiating team of your needs and aspirations as employers. In the meantime, please contact the convenor of RMI’s negotiating team, Jacques Viljoen, with your comments: Jacques.viljoen@rmi.org.za

The RMI will, of course, keep you informed of our progress in this area. A more detailed account of the process is being carried in Jakkie’s Driver’s Seat message in the next issue of Automobil. Please keep an eye out for that.

MIWA and Motor Mech: a perfect match

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How can we make customers choose MIWA-accredited workshops over others? This is one of the questions we are constantly asking – not only so that we can provide value to our members, but also so that we can promote the industry’s reputation.

The answer lies in taking advantage of opportunities that help us build awareness of MIWA, show why accreditation is important, why a career in the automotive sector is valuable and how much customers benefit when they use an accredited workshop. Motor Mech, which is taking place in East London this year on Youth Day, June 16 – an appropriate date indeed –  provides just such an opportunity. It is such a great way to showcase our industry to youngsters who will form our future workforce.  It is also an ideal opportunity to potentially draw in new talent to the industry. More than this, Motor Mech also gives us a chance to interact with key industry stakeholders, from suppliers to other employers, giving us a chance to cement critical relationships.

The show will once again be hosted at Port Rex High Technical High School, which has played an instrumental role in planning the event. Over the last three years, our MIWA NEC has worked very closely with the team and we are very grateful for the enthusiasm and support shown by this special partner.

For those of you that have been before you will remember this show is jam-packed with activities and excitement ranging from the Junior Motor Mech Competition, 

New car displays from fellow NADA members, as well as vintage car and bike displays from local clubs. Affiliated role players like Motohealth and MerSETA will be showcasing their brands, and we’re also hosting food stalls and a kiddies’ play area, with a local DJ creating a festive atmosphere and lucky draws taking place throughout the day. 

We invite all MIWA members to participate in the show: setting up a stand not only gives you the opportunity to educate members of the public about your offering but also allows you to meet potential apprentices. Your presence at Motor Mech also makes it possible for MIWA to build our profile and educate motorists about the benefits and advantages of using a MIWA accredited workshop.

We’re looking forward to seeing the Motor Mech Show becoming an annual event.

With this in mind, we strongly encourage all of our Eastern Cape members to look at ways they can become more involved in showcasing their businesses during the show, even if you just view it as a valuable networking exercise.

Why should you implement MOVERY?

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In one of our previous newsletters, we noted that from 1 July 2022, it is recommended that all MIWA workshops have an independent Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) system in place, in order to achieve a MIWA five-star grading score. 

A CSI system not only smooths your path towards your five-star grading by providing comprehensive customer feedback and therefore helping you identify areas for improvement; it also gives you the tools to address customer issues before they escalate.

Our National Executive Committee has been engaging with MOVERY’s Auto Customer Experience (ACE) and gave it an unhesitating thumbs up. The system records all customer feedback on an online database (via WhatsApp), making it possible for workshop owners to attend to dissatisfied customers quickly. 

Importantly, feedback is visible to workshops only. Moreover, the ACE system meets our requirements, which state that the CSI system in place must record and calculate a New Promoter Score and Fix-Right-First-Time score, simplifying comparisons between workshops. A monthly scoring report must be submitted to each participating workshop, and to MIWA. The system must, furthermore, be able to record and summarise customer comments, and must comply with the provisions of POPIA. Costing R580 per month, we find the ACE system to offer great value for money.

For further information, contact MOVERY on 041 995 5200 or email info@movery.co.za.

All About Bosch (AA) Automotive Aftermarket

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Bosch Automotive Aftermarket (AA) headquarters is located in Karlsruhe, Germany, along with 76 regional organisations worldwide. Boschis renowned for providing the aftermarket and workshops across the globe with modern diagnostics, workshop equipment and a wide range of spare parts – from new and exchange parts to repair solutions – for passenger and commercial vehicles. The product portfolio includes Bosch original equipment, as well as aftermarket products and services developed and manufactured in-house.    

In 1965, Bosch established its subsidiary in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2010, AA expanded its footprint in Africa to include Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.   

Bosch AA South Africa supplies automotive parts, testing and repair-shop technology, diagnostic software, service training, and information services. In addition, the division is responsible for the “Bosch Service” workshop franchise – one of the world’s largest independent workshop chains.

Bosch Car Service and Express Bosch Car Service have over 120 workshops and 14 workshops respectively, located across South Africa. Our service offering includes car servicing, mechanical repairs, vehicle electronics, engine systems, safety systems, comfort systems and other technical services. We also provide a 6-month/10 000km guarantee on our workmanship, and a 12-month national warranty on parts. For more information, please visit www.boschcarservice.com/za/en/

Bosch Diesel Centres have over 34 diesel fuel injection service workshops countrywide. Our offering includes sales, service and repairs, and calibration testing, as well as a standard 6-month guarantee on workmanship and a 12-month national warranty on parts. For more information, please visit www.boschdiesel.co.za

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Artur Barreiros, Regional Director for Bosch AA Southern Africa.

‘The success of the IAM in South Africa is intrinsically connected to the success of the independent workshops and their ability to become fit for the future. The Bosch Car/Diesel Service workshop network, as well as the Bosch Product Module Programmes, are the backbone of our products and services business. Bosch is committed to improving the experience of the workshops and vehicle owners throughout the service and repair customer journey.” – Artur Barreiros, Regional Director for Bosch AA Southern Africa

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MIWA members making a difference

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We are always so proud to see our members making a difference in their communities, and we love sharing their stories. This month’s story is particularly heartwarming because it sheds the spotlight on people and charities working hard to allow differently-abled kids to experience the wonderful world of sport.

Mark Schreuder of Schreuders Auto Services & Electrical at the Shell Service Station in Meadowridge explains that he became involved with the Warrior on Wheels Foundation after meeting Laurence Steenveld, whose son, Caden, was born with Coffin-Lowry Syndrome; a rare genetic disorder characterised by intellectual disability and various skeletal abnormalities. Mark and Laurence became cycling buddies (Mark is a huge fan of the sport), and in 2018, Laurence asked him if he would support Warriors on Wheels by riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour while pulling a child in a purpose-built buggy behind his bike. 

Since then, Mark has been an avid supporter of the Foundation. Mark’s enthusiasm for helping children take part in sports is boundless; over the years, he has become more involved in the Foundation and has taken part in several fundraising initiatives to make it possible for kids to experience sports like zip-lining and horse riding. This fundraising is critical, Mark says, because it takes R15 000 to manufacture just one Warriors on Wheels buggy.

He derives enormous joy from his work with the Foundation, dedicating weekend mornings to helping the kids: “One of the little girls who rides with me is unable to speak but, over time, I have learned how to communicate with her. She is always calm and at peace after our rides. It’s also great for the kids’ parents to get some time out, to do the garden, go shopping, or just rest while the kids are out having fun.”

Mark also remains committed to helping Caden and his parents. He has raised R25 000 for Caden’s Foundation of Hope by running the Two Oceans Marathon, which, he explains, was started by Laurence and his wife Juanita after Caden was born. At the time, the Steenvelds had no resources that could provide assistance with raising their son; through the Foundation, they have been able to offer aid to around 25 families with special needs’ children. “The Foundation helps our special needs community by offering immediate short-term financial relief and support; we also work to raise awareness of the needs of special needs kids and their families,” Mark says.

If you would like to make a financial donation to either organisation or simply volunteer your time, contact http://cadensfoundationofhope.co.za/about/ or http://warrioronwheels.co.za/.

Driving down debt

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Given the financial pressure on our pockets, it’s understandable that many South Africans are looking to loans as a solution for money woes. But debt, while undoubtedly very helpful, is expensive, and can come with its own problems – which is why it must be considered very carefully.

For instance, a loan is advisable only if you are seriously battling to cover your monthly expenses – luxury items don’t count, no matter how much you want them. The same goes for unbudgeted expenses. If you truly believe that you aren’t going to make the month without a loan, you need to try and detach yourself from the emotion of the situation: make sure that you can afford the loan, and that it covers all necessary expenses. Don’t give in to the temptation to take out more than one loan so that you have more funds available, because you may struggle to repay them all.

Speaking of repayment: it’s best to pay off your smaller debts before tackling the large ones – you can then add the money that was previously used for those small loans to your monthly instalments so that the debt is paid off more quickly. If, on the other hand, you find that you aren’t managing your monthly instalments, ask your credit provider about more affordable repayment solutions – don’t simply stop paying, as this will affect your credit record. 

Finally, ask your credit provider about credit loan insurance, so that you will be covered in case you are retrenched or can’t work because of disability (whether short-term, permanent or temporary).

Looking forward to Automechanika

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Automechanika Johannesburg, the leading international trade fair for the automotive service industry, takes place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, from 7-10 June – and we couldn’t be more excited.

This is the first time that all eight RMI associations will participate in the show, making it a landmark event. 

We at MIWA will be supporting the RMI stand in Hall 6 (stand number 6A12), and RMI staff will be on hand to answer questions, give information, and raise awareness of the value we add to the industry. Our stand theme focuses on digitalisation and the value of belonging – a topic made all the more interesting and relevant given the rich possibilities and opportunities we know will arise out of face-to-face networking at this event!

The MIWA team will also use this opportunity to have a strategic session where we will be discussing the exciting services and products planned for the new financial year, and we will also be hosting our quarterly National Executive Committee meeting at this time. Look out, too, for the Nuts-and-Bolts conference hosted by the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association. 

It is an absolute honour to be part of this prestigious global show, which shares our commitment to growing the professionalism of our industry.

MIWA in the media, May 2022

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MIWA has enjoyed good coverage across several media platforms this month.  It is really positive that each month our stories continue to get broad publication nationally. Remember this is all earned media too, so really free publicity for all members. Here are some of the stories covered:

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RMI and its associations give full support to Automechanika Johannesburg

Mid South Coast Rising Sun
Vehicle red flags – do not ignore them

Midrand Reporter
Vehicle red flags – do not ignore them

Automotive Business Review (ABR)
Countdown to Moto Mech 2022 begins

Pretoria Rekord
Vehicle red flags – do not ignore them

ShowMe
Vehicle red flags – do not ignore them

CRS: an absolute must for child safety

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Did you know that only two-thirds of children use Child Restraint Systems when driving? 

This is according to a recent observational study conducted by the AA, which assessed the CRS usage of 1 000 children at shopping centres throughout South Africa.

The figure is disheartening, given that CRS have been shown to reduce injuries in children aged between five and nine by 52%. In comparison, seat belts reduce injuries by just 19%. 

Nor are parents’ laps an adequate replacement for CRS. A baby sitting on its mother’s lap could be thrown out of the windscreen at the same speed as falling from a three-story window or could be crushed against the dashboard by its parent’s body (which becomes 30 times heavier at a moment of impact) – even if the car is travelling at only 50kph.

That said, the effectiveness of CRS is compromised if it is not properly secured. Disturbingly, only 30% of systems are correctly installed.

Although it is mandatory for children younger than three to be secured in a proper car seat, punishment for non-compliance is hardly onerous, with motorists receiving a fine of just R250 – compared to other countries, where the fine may go up to R9 000.

Interestingly, mothers are more likely to ensure their children are properly secured than fathers, possibly because of different driving behaviours and perceptions around risk.

We urge you to join MIWA in sending out a strong message to your customers: the use of CRS is critical in order to prevent injury and even death. Remind your customers that if they are in any doubt about a car seat, you are able to provide advice and assistance.

From the Director’s Desk, May 2022

2019

Feeling the pinch of rising prices? So are many other MIWA members. That’s why this month’s newsletter is full of advice about practical steps you can take to promote your business, from taking part in MotoMech to improving your customer feedback system, while also improving your industry knowledge by visiting Automechanika. We also offer advice on how to manage your debt.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Read our story on MIWA member Mark Schreuder’s work with Warrior on Wheels for some instant upliftment. We are so proud of the local heroes in our community, and believe it’s truly important to celebrate every person and every action that spreads a little sunshine. 

As June brings a little more chill to our mornings, that’s something we encourage you to contemplate: who brought a little warmth to your life today? There’s always something or someone to make you smile. Keep focused on those, and you’re set for happy days – no matter what the petrol price is doing!

Pieter Niemand,
MIWA National Director