Numsa plans to widen strike as employers withdraw wage offer

2014-07-15 11:12

The leadership of metalworkers’ union Numsa will meet today to discuss plans to widen the two-week strike in the sector, said spokesperson Castro Ngobese.

The announcement follows the withdrawal by the steel and engineering employers’ group of a “final” wage offer made to the union to end its industrial action.

The strike by 220 000 Numsa members has affected production at car makers Ford, Toyota and General Motors, due to supply chain problems related to the stoppage.

“The final offer made last week – which was intended to end the strike and to see employees back at work this week – failed to accomplish its goal and has since been withdrawn,” Kaizer Nyatsumba, chief executive of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa said today.

Numsa is seeking annual increases of between 12 and 15%. Employers had offered a 10% increase this year, 9.5% in 2015 and 9% the year after that.

“The employers have withdrawn their offer but they’ve made an undertaking that they’re going to their chamber and they’ll come back to us before the end of the week,” Ngobese said.

The industrial action follows on the heels of a five-month strike in the platinum sector that stunted economic growth and export earnings, and damaged wider investor sentiment in Africa's most advanced economy.

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