Another massive strike looms

Numsa is undeterred by threats of mass dismissals over its planned strike for wage hikes next month.

FILE. Numsa is undeterred by threats of mass dismissals over its planned strike for wage hikes next month. Picture: Zikhona Miso/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it won't be intimidated by threats of mass dismissals over its planned strike for next month.

The industrial action will affect the metal and engineering sectors.

It's also feared the strike could impact on Eskom.

The union is demanding a 12 percent pay hike.

Numsa's Deputy Secretary General Karl Cloete says union members working at Eskom are being treated unfairly and the strike will go on no matter what.

"Come hell or high water, Numsa members in Eskom will embark on protest marches on 2 July."

The union says the power utility has offered its workers a 5.6 percent increase, which it views as an insult.

It says its 12 percent demand translates to each worker receiving a meagre increase of just over R200.

The strike means the completions of Eskom's R105 billion Medupi Power Station will once again be disrupted.

The plant is supposed to come online in December.

The strike threats come just days after the marathon platinum industrial action ended, which brought the country to the brink of a recession.

Amid concerns over the economy as the Numsa strike looms, analysts believe the metalworkers union and industry bosses will find common ground soon.

Labour analyst Gavin Brown says he doesn't expect the mass action to be prolonged.

"I would not expect the Numsa strike to be anything like the platinum strike but never the less it comes at a very troubling time and probably has more political motives than anything else."