South African employees at carmakers including (Toyota, BMW and General Motors among others) halted work for a third consecutive day as a labour leader said the industry scaled back a pay-raise offer.
Employer representatives reverted to an initial proposal of an 8 percent wage increase for the first contract year after an inconclusive meeting on Aug. 19, Mphumzi Maqungo, treasurer of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, said in a phone interview from Johannesburg.
Prior to the meeting, the manufacturers proposed a 10 percent raise for the first year and 8 percent for the next two years, he said.
About 30,000 workers are striking at the country's seven main carmakers and two medium- and heavy-vehicle assemblers in Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London, according to the union.
The walkout will cost the automotive industry as much as R700 million a day, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa estimated on Aug. 16.
A spokesman for the carmakers' contract negotiators didn't respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on Maqungo's remarks about the companies' revised offer.
The union, with 323,000 members across a range of industries in Africa's biggest economy, is seeking a 14 percent annual increase in auto-worker wages, improved medical benefits and shift flexibility.
"There is nothing on the table right now," Maqungo said. "We are flexible for a double-digit increase across the board."
The car industry accounts for 7 percent of South Africa's gross domestic product, according to Department of Trade and Industry estimates.