More than 30 000 assembly line workers in the motor manufacturing industry are expected to down tools today. This after wage talks between the seven biggest manufacturers and metalworkers’ union Numsa deadlocked.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is demanding a 14% pay increase, while employers are offering between 7.5% and 8.5%.
The motor industry-dependant Eastern Cape, with its three manufacturers, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, is expected to be hard hit.
CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Kevin Hustler says, “The concern always around the automotive trade is that it is an anchor industry in the Nelson Mandela region and parts of the Eastern Cape. A strike right now is a threat to production as well as local and international orders.”
He says, “If the strike continues for a protracted time, the greater the effect will be for businesses themselves and the economy as a whole. At this time South Africa is affected quite strongly by lack of confidence by both business and foreign investors. This does not bode well for building confidence in international markets.”