Numsa: Strike to continue for now

The metalworkers union has reportedly rejected the latest wage offer.

Around 200,000 Numsa-affiliated members are demanding a 15 percent wage increase. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has reportedly rejected the latest offer from steel and engineering companies to end a wage strike that's now in its second week.

The union is demanding a 15 percent salary increase for about 200,000 members who have downed tools, but companies have only offered between eight and 10 percent.

Numsa is also demanding a R1,000 housing allowance, career and training opportunities for all workers and the banning of labour brokers.

Numsa's leadership met with employer bodies this week in a meeting facilitated by the Department of Labour and last night, the union's national executive committee met to discuss the matter.

Numsa treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo says the official outcome of the talks will be communicated on Sunday, but for now the strike will continue.

"The strike is still on. Last night we had a national executive committee meeting where a report was received from our members. That report will be communicated to the entire nation on Sunday in a press conference."

Numsa-affiliated members downed tools on 1 July.

The strike action, which follows a crippling strike by platinum miners that lasted five months, is expected to cost the economy over R280 million a day in lost output.

There have been widespread reports of violence, intimidation, vandalism and damage to property since the strike began.

Around 111 people have been arrested since the strike began.