Numsa strike closes VW’s Uitenhage plant

Volkswagen South Africa stopped vehicle production at its Uitenhage plant on Thursday due to the motor-manufacturing strike.

Brian Smith, Volkswagen South Africa’s human resources director, said most of its 4 000 production employees had been sent home as the strike action by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) had a dramatic impact.

Smith called on Numsa and component manufacturers to resolve their differences so that the plants could return to normal production as soon as possible.

”This strike action by [Numsa] at most of our supplier plants was already having a dramatic impact on the local automobile-manufacturing industry and will threaten jobs and export orders in the future,” Smith was quoted as saying in a statement.

Numsa members in the tyre sector have also been on strike this month and this, together with delays in the motor-industry development programme and the present strike, does not help the industry secure export contracts. These are vital for the long-term survival of the industry and the creation of jobs.

Workers in the motor industry are demanding a 9% wage hike, while employers are offering 8,5%.

Earlier on Thursday, 19 striking members of Numsa were injured in Germiston during a protest at the Johnson Matthey factory. The protesters were injured in a clash with police. — Sapa

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