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Auto industry optimistic of clinching wage deal

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(File)
(File)

Johannesburg - South African units of automakers including Nissan Motor and Volkswagen AG are confident they are close to striking a wage deal with labor unions, a development that would help prevent strike action that has hampered the industry in the past.

“We are in what I would consider the final stages and the positive is that I think both parties feel that we are within sight of finding a solution,” Mike Whitfield, president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, said in an interview at an auto industry conference north of Johannesburg on Thursday. “As an industry we don’t believe we’re far away.”

The carmakers are negotiating a three-year deal, said Whitfield, who is also head of Nissan’s Africa operation. He didn’t give further details of the employers’ offer.

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