Numsa rejects latest wage offer

The union has called on employers to put a one-year deal on the table.

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says its members have formally rejected the latest offer from employers in the steel and engineering industry to end their current wage strike.

Employers have offered Numsa a three-year wage deal with a 10 percent hike this year and 9,5 and 9 percent for the next two years respectively.

About 220,000 Numsa members went on strike two weeks ago following four months of unsuccessful talks.

The union says it is now ready to end the strike and has called on employers to put a one year deal on the table.

"We want to inform our membership and the broader public that as a union we are ready to end the current strike with a one year agreement and a 10% wage increase," says Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) claims that five other minority unions have accepted a wage deal.

It is understood the union received a three year offer of a 10 percent hike from Seifsa and spent the past few days consulting with its members.

Meanwhile, Seifsa says if the final offer is not accepted it will be withdrawn.

The first two weeks of Numsa strike has been marked by an intervention by the Labour Department and widespread reports of violent pickets and damage to property.