victory comes after the PCASA’s eight year struggle against NUMSA, MEWUSA and CEPPWAWU

PCASA succeeds in Labour Appeal Court against NUMSA and two others

Labour Appeal Court confirms that separate and exclusive negotiation forum
for the Plastic Industry in the MEIBC has been duly established

Johannesburg, 8 August 2016.


PCASAThe Labour Appeal Court has handed down judgement in the matter between Plastics Convertors Association of South Africa (PCASA) obo Members v NUMSA, MEWUSA and CEPPWAWU (JA112/14) earlier this month, after an incredible 8-year struggle. The Labour Appeal Court had to rule on three very important grounds:

  • Firstly, party membership of the PCASA - the Court held that the PCASA was in fact a party member to the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) and therefore could have participated in the establishment the Plastics Negotiating Forum within the MEIBC.
  • Secondly, the establishment of the Plastics Negotiating Forum – the Court held that the Plastics Negotiating Forum was duly established and the terms of reference were duly adopted by the parties to the MEIBC.
  • Thirdly, the Plastics Negotiating Forum an exclusive forum for negotiations - the Court held that the Plastics Negotiating Forum was not only duly established as a forum in the MEIBC, but was in fact established as the exclusive forum for negotiations in the Plastics Industry.

This judgement is well received by the Plastics Industry, as this entails that all negotiations from July 2014 and future negotiations could only be done in a separate forum (the PNF), independent from the rest of the Metal Industry, which would allow the Plastics Industry to collectively bargain more effectively and focus on industry specific issues instead of having to follow an unrelated industry agreement.

“The South African Plastics Industry is currently in the throes of one of the most challenging periods in its history. We regard this judgement as a massive achievement for both employers and employees in the plastic industry at large. We are now in a position to create a strong and more effective system that will ensure sustainable economic growth and job creation,”says Johan Pieterse, CEO of the PCASA.


This dispute began in 2008 when parties of the MEIBC agreed to establish a separate forum to negotiate conditions of employment for the Plastics Industry within the MEIBC. Unfortunately, this forum was not finalised and the PCASA was forced to withdraw as a party to the MEIBC in 2011 out of frustration.

Due to the PCASA’s withdrawal from the MEIBC, the Department of Labour published its intention to remove the Plastics Sector from the scope of the MEIBC, which lead to a lengthy mediation process wherein parties approached the PCASA to reconsider their position. Finally this process culminated in the MEIBC’s acceptance of the PCASA’s rejoinder application for party membership in 2013 and subsequently the establishment of the Plastics Negotiating Forum. A collective agreement was then concluded for the Plastics Industry in the Plastics Negotiating Forum on 30 June 2014.

Despite the agreement reached, employees of the Plastics Industry embarked on the national metal industry strike in 2014, which necessitated the PCASA to approach the Labour Court for an order to declare the strike as unlawful due to the establishment of the Plastics Negotiating Forum as the sole negotiating forum for the Plastic Industry. The Labour Court however found that the PCASA was not a party member of the MEIBC and therefore that the Plastics Negotiating Forum and agreement concluded therein was irrelevant. In August 2014, the PCASA took this matter on appeal, which case was heard on 10 March 2016 and finally the outcome now establishes a huge breakthrough for the Plastics Industry.

The PCASA is a duly registered Employers Organisation for the Plastics Industry and was registered in 1998 to represent the interests of the plastics convertors and manufacturing industry in South Africa.  The scope of the PCASA’s activities includes, but is not limited to, matters such as Collective Bargaining, Dispute Resolution, and Liaison with the DTI, ITAC, SABS, DoL, NRCS and others.“As representative for the Plastics Industry within the MEIBC and other structures, we strive to serve the interests of all members and endeavour to give a voice to the industry. This is an incredible achievement for the Plastics Industry after a long, 8 year struggle.  However, this achievement would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our members throughout,” Pieterse concluded.

For more information on membership benefits and how to become a member of the PCASA,email: call (011) 314-4021

Media Enquiries:  Johan Pieterse, CEO: Plastics Convertors Association of SA

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