Nissan joins Toyota in shutting SA plant

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Nissanlogo REUTERS A logo of Nissan is pictured outside the company headquarters building in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.

Johannesburg - Nissan joined carmakers including Toyota and Ford in halting production in South Africa as a strike by metalworkers cut auto-component supplies.

Nissan has temporarily closed its production plant in Rosslyn, near the capital Pretoria, from July 14 to July 21, the company’s South African unit said in an e-mailed response to questions.

If the strike that began on July 1 proceeds “into the following week, Nissan South Africa may have to reconsider its production schedule going forward,” it said.

The stoppage by more than 220,000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the nation’s largest labor union, has disrupted manufacturing output, threatening an economy still reeling from a five-month strike by platinum mineworkers that ended in June.

“We are hoping for a speedy resolution to the strike as a prolonged strike affects our reputation as a supplier as well as our competitiveness,” Nissan said.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa yesterday withdrew its improved offer to raise pay by 10 percent in the first year, 9.5 percent in the second and 9 percent in the third.

Numsa rejected the offer on July 13.

The union plans to intensify its strike by calling on 140,000 members in other industries to also down tools, Stephen Nhlapo, head of bargaining at Numsa, said by phone today. - Bloomberg News

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