NUMSA strike prompts Toyota and Ford to halt South African output

Article by Andrew Christian, on July 16, 2014

Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are halting output operations at their sites in South Africa, no thanks to an ongoing strike that has crippled supply of components. Mary Willemse, spokeswoman for Toyota in South Africa, disclosed that the carmaker will stop output of the Corolla, Hilux and Fortuner models at its Durban site starting Tuesday as prompted by the ongoing strike in the metals industry, which had cut supply of car components for the models.

Ford spokeswoman Alisea Chetty said that the US carmaker halted production at its Silverton site also because of the strike. Mercedes-Benz has said that while production still continues, supplies to its plant in the country were "critical" due to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) strike in the engineering and metals sector.

BMW spokesman Guy Kilfoil disclosed that the luxury carmaker is now operating on two production shifts instead of three. General Motors, meanwhile, stopped production at its Port Elizabeth site in July 3 and has yet to resume output.

The NUMSA strike involved around 220,000 workers who have refused to work since July 1, affecting over 12,000 companies in the country.

NUMSA is in talks with the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) to try to resolve differences over the duration of a wage agreement, according to union industry coordinator Stephen Nhlapo.

SEIFSA wants a three-year deal while NUMSA is asking for a 10-percent increase for one year. SEIFSA spokeswoman Ollie Madlala said that talks are still ongoing.

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