SA autoworkers to discuss pay demand amid strike

South African autoworkers will meet on Thursday to discuss revising pay demands. The central committee of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is due to meet, its spokesperson Castro Ngobese said.

Vehicle manufacturing, accounting for about 7% of South Africa’s gross domestic product, has been at a standstill since August 19 after about 30 000 workers downed tools to demand pay increases of more than double the inflation rate of 6.3%. Car manufacturers including General Motors, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen collectively proposed a new offer on August 22 to raise pay by 10% over three years.

 

“What has been offered isn’t even close to addressing apartheid wage disparities,” Ngobese said.

 

Workers in the construction and aviation industries are already on strike over pay, while unions in the gold-mining industry may begin stoppages next week if a wage settlement isn’t reached.

 

About 72 000 motor-industry employees may go on strike on September 2 after a breakdown in wage talks between Numsa and companies represented by the Fuel Retailers Association and Retail Motor Industry Organisation.

 

About 600 technical staff at the state-owned airline, SAA, remain on strike, Vincent Masoga, a spokesperson for the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, said. The union is meeting with SAA management on Thursday, he said. – Bloomberg

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