Numsa settles for 10 percent wage hike

The month long strike in the Retail Motor Industry has finally come to an end.

Striking NUMSA members march in Randburg on Monday 9 September, they are seeking a double digit increase in wages.Picture:Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The month long strike by National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) members in the automotive component sector has come to an end.

The union settled for a 10 percent wage hike in the first year and eight percent in the next two years on Sunday.

However, it also emphasised the issue of a three year peace plan proposed by employers, which was a major contention point.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim said "the union has taken a conscious decision to end the strike in the automotive component sector and workers will be addressed tomorrow morning in their places of work where they will then resume work."

Four weeks ago more than 40,000 workers downed tools, bringing the country's automotive industry to its knees.

The strike cost the industry an estimated R600 million a day.

The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) has warned that the collapse of the collective bargaining unit of the automotive industry could lead to anarchy in the workplace.

The forum currently negotiates with workers for higher wages and allowances on behalf of 18,000 companies.

But Numsa threatened to collapse it following unsuccessful talks and a lengthy strike in the automotive sector.

The union claims employers used the bargaining unit to claim they cannot afford wage hikes.

RMI CEO Jakkie Olivier says, "The playing field would be uneven. Businesses would compete unfairly. As far as we are concerned the Bargaining Council is good for both labour and business."