Wage talks between Numsa and the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation have reached deadlock; and the union says it is bracing itself for “a massive strike action (because) the current offer is just a slap in the face of workers".

Wage talks between Numsa and the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation have reached deadlock; and the union says it is bracing itself for “a massive strike action (because) the current offer is just a slap in the face of workers".


According to , the union is demanding a nine per cent across-the-board increase while the manufacturers are offering 6,5 per cent. Ameo reportedly pointed to May's 4,4 per cent consumer price inflation as motivation for the wage offer.


But Numsa spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said inflation targeting was not an accurate measure considering the country's 30 per cent unemployment rate, and added: "We will continue to reject the simple-minded notions of inflation-related wage increases, because it is not compatible with the living standards of the workers.


Ntuli said inflation targeting had little regard for real factors such as poverty and unemployment. The union would however meet company heads next week in a last ditch effort to avert a strike.


Besides the nine per cent increase, Numsa is also demanding a three-year wage agreement, 100 per cent payment during maternity leave and the provision of antiretroviral drugs to workers with HIV/Aids.


Ameo chairman Harry Gazendam said the parties had made "some" progress and the negotiations would continue tonight. He was optimistic that a strike could still be averted.


Commenting on last week's new vehicle sales figures for June, McCarthy Motor Holdings chairman Brand Pretorius said an extended strike would harm sales for the rest of the year.


"One would hope that a settlement will indeed be reached, as a strike would also undermine the motor industry's export platform over both the short and medium term. That is a situation our country can ill afford," Pretorius added.

Original article from Car