Employers accept pay deal for metalworkers

Striking Numsa members. (File photo, Sapa)
Striking Numsa members. (File photo, Sapa)
Johannesburg- The main employer body in South Africa's metals and engineering federation has accepted a government proposal to raise wages by as much as 10%, it said on Tuesday, raising hopes of an end to a strike by more than 200 000 workers.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) said unions led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have until Friday to accept the offer.

Under the proposal put forward by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, Seifsa agreed to raise wages by between 7% and 10% over the next three years.

Wage talks between the parties resumed on Tuesday in an effort to end a strike that is sapping the economy.

The stoppage has disrupted the supply of car parts and affected construction work at two crucial power stations for state utility Eskom.

"If they agree to it, then we must go to our members and indicate to them that this is how far we've gone as a union," said Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese ahead of the meeting, who declined to give details of the proposal.

The industrial action has dealt a further blow to the ailing economy, coming almost immediately after a five-month strike by miners in the platinum sector.



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