The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has called an urgent meeting of all its regions to discuss whether or not to call off its protracted wage strike in the steel and engineering sector.

This after employers affiliated to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) started to unilaterally implement the 6% salary increase offer to unions insisting that it is final.

The unilateral implementation of the offer means workers who do not belong to Numsa can now sign a wage deal with employers and return to work.

The same applies to Numsa members who no longer wish to continue with the strike.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola has admitted that Seifsa’s move has the potential to negatively affect the strike.

“[This] is clearly a move by Seifsa to undermine the strike. Because by imposing the increase it weakens the resolve of workers to continue to participate in the strike. The only position as a union that we can take and this is what we are going to do, [is] to call an urgent special NEC [meeting] where all Numsa’s regions and leadership from regions will be represented. [That is] where a decision will be taken about the future of the strike,” says Hlubi-Majola.

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