Handshake. Photo by PNW Production, Pexels.

Collective bargaining

How RMI is approaching their very important negotiations around wage increases.

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.