Even though the strikes finally ended, the German automaker still considers the situation ‘inherently unstable’, and said it had no plans to reverse the freeze on expansion.
After parts manufacturers agreed to a three-year wage deal with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) on Sunday, carmakers talking to Reuters said they were hoping to return to full production later this week.
But prolonged labor turmoil has left some firms considering how much to invest in South Africa and BMW said last week it was no longer considering expanding production there because of the labor unrest.
“The fact that the strike went on for four weeks is proof-perfect that the labor environment in South Africa in inherently unstable,” BMW spokesman Guy Kilfoil told Reuters. “And that’s a perception – certainly in our parent company’s mind – that won’t change overnight, and certainly not by a strike ending that should have ended weeks ago,” he added.
NUMSA leaders have already dismissed BMW’s comments on freezing expansion as brinkmanship, saying the German carmaker must seek the union’s approval before making any major changes to its operations.
The car parts strike hit as the industry was recovering from three weeks of industrial action by more than 30,000 workers at major auto makers including BMW, Ford, Toyota and General Motors.
) - Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 - filed under BMW
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