Despite talks with the union, the South African car strike continues image

The strike that affected South African carmakers like Toyota, Nissan, BMW and GM continue despite talks already began with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

Yesterday, about 30.000 metalworkers stopped plant production in a massive instantaneous protest to demand higher wages at plants operated by seven vehicle manufacturers.

“Nothing has changed, the strike continues in Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London,” Castro Ngobese, a spokesman for Numsa said by phone. “There were talks last night and a strike committee will discuss that this morning.”

Numsa is asking for a 14% annual wage increase, improved medical benefits and shift flexibility. Employers are willing to offer 10 percent in the first year, the union’s General Secretary Irvin Jim said on Aug. 16. This compares with the South African Reserve Bank’s forecast for 5.9 percent average inflation in 2013. The strike disrupts the auto industry, which accounts for roughly 7% of the country’s gross domestic product, according to Department of Trade and Industry estimates.
A prolonged stoppage of production could impact economic growth, foreign direct investment, and South Africa’s reputation as a supplier to the world’s vehicle industry, according to economists and the manufacturers’ association.

via Bloomberg