Johannesburg - The three-week strike in the retail motor industry is continuing, for now.
However, three vehicle manufacturers have resumed production this week in anticipation of a return to work at automotive component manufacturers and other parts of the retail motor sector.
This means five of the country’s seven motor manufacturers are back in production after shutting down because of a shortage of local component supplies, although they are not back to pre-strike volumes.
Castro Ngobese, the spokesman for the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), said yesterday that it had neither accepted nor rejected the latest revised offer from the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and was scheduled to meet the employers again later today.
Ngobese said Numsa would be holding a media conference on Sunday to communicate the outcome of the meeting.
Jakkie Olivier, the RMI’s chief executive and chief negotiator, said that Numsa had informed the employers’ organisation it was proving difficult to get support from union members for the deal and “the component industry needed to come to the party”.
Olivier said the RMI’s revised proposal was for wage increases for automotive component manufacturing employees of 10 percent in the first year and 8 percent in each of the following two years.
For the rest of the retail motor industry, increases of 9 percent in the first year and 8 percent in each of the next two years were proposed.
“I think we have reached the end and this is our final settlement offer. It is very reasonable given the current economic environment. There is no more money in the pot to dish out at the 11th hour,” he said.
“We are hugely disappointed with Numsa’s response and reaction.”
The local units of Mercedes-Benz and General Motors resumed production yesterday and Nissan on Wednesday.
BMW has been producing a limited number of cars daily for the duration of the strike while Ford has been in production for one day a week during the stoppage using skeleton crews to achieve about 10 percent of normal output. - Business Report