South African Engineers Union rejects new wage offer, strike continues
CAPE TOWN, Oct. 14 (Reuters) – South Africa’s largest engineering union has rejected a new pay offer as a strike that has already hit carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) enters its second week , announced Thursday the employers’ organization SEIFSA.
The National Metalworkers Union of South Africa (NUMSA), which has around 155,000 members in the industry, has been on strike since October 5 to demand wage increases, a move that could affect the supply of spare parts for new cars and accessories.
Luxury automaker BMW said on Monday it had lost production of around 700 vehicles at its main assembly plant in South Africa when several suppliers were affected. Read more
Lucio Trentini, director general of the Federation of Steel and Engineering Industries of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), said the two sides had not reached an agreement following discussions with union officials Wednesday evening.
“We will come together this morning and chart the way forward. The revised and improved offer has been rejected,” he said of a new proposal that NUMSA sent to its members last week. Read more
NUMSA was scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:00 p.m. GMT, a union spokesperson said. A smaller union, the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa (MEWUSA), told Reuters that its 16,000 industry members had also joined the picket lines.
The protected strike was launched after wage negotiations stalled and arbitration failed, with NUMSA demanding a general wage increase of 8% in the first year and inflation plus 2% in the second and third. years.
SEIFSA had proposed 4.4% for 2021, inflation plus 0.5% in 2022 and inflation plus 1% in the third year.
“It is unfortunate that an agreement has not yet been reached and we expect more OEM assembly lines to be affected if the strike continues into next week, due to lack of production in parts of the supply chain, ”Renai Moothilal, executive director of said the National Association of Automotive Component Manufacturers and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM).
A spokesperson for VWSA (VOWG_p.DE> said there was no impact on production, while BMW said it was “constantly monitoring” the situation for any changes.
Reporting by Wendell Roelf Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Frances Kerry
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