Third day of strike for the South African auto sector image

This is the third consecutive day of strike for autoworkers of the South African production facilities of carmakers like Toyota, BMW or GM. This is due to a reported scaling back of the pay-raise offer.

We reported earlier that around 30.000 workers of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa stopped working on Monday, effectively paralyzing several production facilities of large carmakers.

Employer representatives reverted to an initial proposal of an 8% wage increase for the first contract year after an inconclusive meeting on Aug. 19, Mphumzi Maqungo, treasurer for the union, said in an interview. Prior to the meeting, the manufacturers proposed a 10% raise for the first year and 8 percent for the next two years, he said.

“There is nothing on the table right now,” Maqungo said. “We are flexible for a double-digit increase across the board.”

The 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 700 million rand ($68.4 million) a day, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa estimated on Aug. 16.