Strike in South Africa continues to disrupt auto production

Article by Anita Panait, on August 22, 2013

A strike continues to cripple operations at a number of carmakers in South Africa amid discussions with National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. The carmakers -- including Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., BMW AG and General Motors Co. – suspended production Monday as around 30,000 workers launch a strike action to demand higher wages at companies’ sites.

Castro Ngobese, a spokesman for NUMSA, told Bloomberg in a phone interview that the nothing has changed and the strike continues in Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London. He said talks were held and strike committee was to discuss the matter. NUMSA is seeking for a 14-percent annual wage increase, improved medical benefits and shift flexibility.

NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said on Aug. 16, 2013 that companies are willing to offer 10 percent in the first year. The strike is disrupting production in the South African auto industry, which accounts for around 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to estimates by Department of Trade and Industry. Economists and the manufacturers’ association remarked that a prolonged production stoppage will affect economic growth, foreign direct investment, and South Africa’s reputation as a global vehicle supplier.

Topics: south africa, strike

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