With the possibility of a motor retail industry strike by Numsa members on September 1, which could be followed by a secondary strike at seven motor manufacturers a week later, much rests on a meeting between the union and the RMI today.

With the possibility of a motor retail industry strike by Numsa members on September 1, which could be followed by a secondary strike at seven motor manufacturers a week later, much rests on a meeting between the union and the RMI today.


Numsa general secretary Silumko Nondwangu said on Monday that up to 29 000 workers at Eskom and another 800 workers at the Columbus Steel works in Middelburg could be on strike as early as next week and added: "Unless something dramatic happens in the motor retail sector, close to 60 000 members of the union will resume their indefinite strike on September 1."


CARtoday.com reported last week that talks between Numsa, the Fuel Retailers' Association and the Retail Motor Industry Federation reached an impasse after the union rejected the latest wage offer of 8,5 percent for minimum rates of pay. The negotiations are said to involve workers in petrol stations, component manufacturing, car dealerships and panel beating businesses.


Numsa said the motor retail industry primary strike would be followed by a "crippling" secondary strike at the seven car manufacturing companies on September 8.


As we reported at the time, Numsa's demands include a wage increase equivalent to CPIX plus a five per cent improvement factor on actual rates of pay, that wages be backdated to the date of the signing of the agreement - a one-year wage agreement - and that area wage differentials be removed.


Retail Motor Industry executive director Jakkie Olivier said on Tuesday: "I think the comments made by Nondwangu are premature, considering we have a meeting on Thursday."


"With 14 000 employers and 160 000 employees, it is difficult to measure the financial impact of such a strike on individual companies and the economy as a whole. Only after a strike can one make an evaluation," Olivier added.


Meanwhile, labour consultant Jeremy Crawford told that: "For the motor retail sector, there is concern about the looming strike. Any strike action has a negative impact on the economy, at a time when consumers are complaining bitterly about price increases.


"The timing of the strike won't be good at a time when we are competing with foreign markets that manufacture cars," he added.

Original article from Car