Numsa rejects fresh pay offer - sources

Members of Numsa march for better wages in Cape Town. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)
Members of Numsa march for better wages in Cape Town. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)
Cape Town - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has rejected the latest employers' offer to increase wages by 10% this year and 9.5% in 2015 and is extending a 10-day strike, union sources told Reuters on Friday.

"We are still open for engagement with the employer and the strike is continuing," a senior official told Reuters.

Numsa's secretary general and national spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

The rand was on the back foot against the dollar on Friday, extending losses after news broke that the union rebuffed the offer.

Numsa wants a 15% wage increase and a R1 000 housing allowance in a one-year bargaining agreement. Read all the demands here.

The strike, which has already hit vehicle manufacturers, threatens to further harm the already frail economy, which was further dragged down by a protracted platinum mining strike.

On Thursday, the National Employers' Association of South Africa (Neasa), which represents primarily small and medium-size businesses, launched a scathing attack on Numsa and big business for bringing the industry to its knees.

The size of the Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) and Numsa means that they mostly determine the pay deal outcomes.

It called on Numsa to end protesting violently and stop intimidating workers not participating in the strike.Since the strike started, 98 protestors have been arrested across the country.

Neasa also called on employers not to budge at the negotiating table.

“Employers bowing to the unlawful violence and intimidation are creating a bleak future for themselves. The repeated surrendering to unlawful action has created a Metal Industry in self-destruction mode, an Industry on a downward slope,” said Neasa CEO Gerhard Papenfus.

“We are now paying dearly for those cosy deals between weak employer representatives, big business and big trade unions, over decades, which have brought a once mighty Industry to the brink of destruction.”

 - Reuters with Fin24



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