The likelihood of a motor industry strike from September 1 has increased following a deadlock in wage negotiations between workers’ union Numsa and the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

The likelihood of a motor industry strike from September 1 has increased following a deadlock in negotiations between the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) on wage increases for the vehicle retail sector.

on Thursday quoted Numsa spokesman Dumisa Ntuli as saying that the union was mobilising its members for a strike from September 1 - the date on which Numsa's current wage agreement for the vehicle retail sector with the RMI will expire.

The strike would also involve a sympathy strike by workers allied to the sector, including the motor manufacturing industry, Ntuli warned. He said this followed the deadlock in the latest round of wage negotiations with the RMI.

Numsa, which represents 60 000 workers in the retail sector, including petrol attendants and vehicle component manufacturing employees and about 21 000 in the car manufacturing industry, is demanding a wage increase equal to May's CPIX of 7,7 per cent plus a five per cent improvement factor.

"We're at loggerheads on this most serious issue. We're not thinking about anything else but increasing the wages of petrol attendants and other workers," Ntuli added. "We've given the RMI until the end of August to respond positively to the demands put forward, but it looks inevitable that a strike will take place in the industry."

RMI executive director of labour Jakkie Olivier confirmed that negotiations had deadlocked, but said another informal meeting would take place later this week "to explore more avenues and options" to resolve the deadlock.

Olivier said Numsa could now give the RMI 48 hours’ notice of a strike in terms of the Labour Relations Act, but expressed optimism that a solution could be found to the dispute.

He added that in the first round of negotiations RMI had offered a wage increase of 8,5 per cent based on April's CPIX, and conveyed to Numsa that "CPIX was coming down so there would be an improvement factor by the time the wage increases were implemented", the report said.

Olivier added that Numsa had not yet negotiated with the RMI on wage increases because it wanted wage increases to be based on actual rather than minimum wages "and there was no need to negotiate further".

Original article from Car