Talks under way in motor-industry dispute

Talks to resolve the wage dispute between the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) and employers in the motor industry were under way on Friday, the union said.

Spokesperson Mziwakhe Hlangani said: ”They are in talks as we speak … there are no new developments yet, it’s better to speak a bit later.”

Workers in the motor industry downed tools on Wednesday with the union demanding a 9% wage hike. Employers were offering 8,5 %.

A meeting between Numsa and employers took place on Thursday evening to clarify the picketing rules, Hlangani said.

This was after a picket at the Johnson Matthey factory in Germiston turned violent on Thursday.

He added that the strike was ”well supported” by members on Friday.

Numsa represents about 50 000 workers in the industry.

On Thursday, Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) and DaimlerChrysler stopped vehicle production at their plants due to the strike.

Brian Smith, VWSA’s human resources director, said most of its 4 000 production employees had been sent home as the strike action was having a dramatic impact.

DaimlerChrysler spokesperson Annelise van der Laan said component shortages in the East London plant had been experienced.

Retail Motor Industry spokesperson Jakkie Olivier could not immediately be reached for comment. — Sapa

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