Auto part workers reject pay offer

Management offered to raise salaries by 10% in the first year and 8% in the following two years.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - South African automotive parts workers have rejected the latest wage offer from employers aimed at ending a strike that has brought assembly lines to a standstill in Africa's biggest economy.

Jakkie Olivier, chief executive of the Retail Motor Industry, told SAfm radio that management had offered to raise salaries by 10 percent in the first year and 8 percent in the following two years.

"We are hugely disappointed with the latest feedback we have received from Numsa," Olivier said, adding that the three-year wage offer was "very reasonable" given the current economic conditions.

Numsa, South Africa's main manufacturing union, wants double-digit wage hikes and better shift allowances.

General secretary Irvin Jim said the union was open to more talks with the employers, adding that discussions were at a "critical, critical stage".

Auto manufacturing accounts for 6 percent of South Africa's GDP and 12 percent of its exports. The strike has also damaged the country's reputation as destination for foreign direct investment.