Numsa strike ends

The 220,000-strong union has accepted the latest wage offer by employers.

Numsa members march for better wages. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Monday announced an end to its four-week long wage strike

The union's Irvin Jim confirmed the decision a short while ago.

"We negotiated on behalf of our members and not Neasa [National Employers' Association of South Africa] members, so they must make sure they implement the agreement because failure to do so will be violating the agreement."

More than 200,000 workers downed tools at the beginning of July demanding a 10 percent wage increase.

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) has welcomed the announcement.

Employer body CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said, "A number of employees returned to work today and most will return to work tomorrow [Tuesday]."

While Siefsa, the largest employer body welcomed the deal, Neasa's Gerhard Papenfus says smaller companies simply cannot afford the 10 percent hike.

Neasa says it has not accepted the agreement and will challenge it.

The association says it will stage a nationwide lockout tomorrow, despite Numsa saying workers will start returning to work as early as Tuesday.

"As from tomorrow, Neasa will lock out all the employees that participated in the strike," Papenfus added.

The mass action forced several companies to shut down due to intimidation.

The motor and manufacturing industries have been severely affected with several plants in Durban and the Eastern Cape being forced to suspend operations.