The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is demanding wage increases of up to 20% in the automotive industry.
Numsa says it met with employers in the auto sector who are represented by the Automobile Manufacturers Association, in the National Bargaining Forum to table its demands.
Employers in the automotive sector have proposed an inflation-linked three-year agreement.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says parties will be meeting for another round of talks in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape from next Monday.
“The working class in South Africa is struggling to cope and this includes our members in the auto sector. Our demands are motivated by the rising cost of living and the poor socio-economic conditions that workers find themselves in. At the same time, the rising cost of fuel and electricity has added to the financial burden of the workers. At the same time, workers in this sector have not earned an increase on their salaries in the last two years due to COVID-19 lockdown and the shortage of semi-conductors,” adds Hlubi-Majola.
The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) has rejected the 3.5% wage increase that the employers’ organisation Security Private companies has proposed.
The negotiations which started on 1 April until last week remained deadlocked, with the sector threatening to embark on a strike.
The union is demanding a 16% basic wage increase each year for the next three years.
SATAWU’s spokesperson Amanda Tshemese says they will not back down until their demands are met.
“The employer must come to the table with a better offer. We are not going to back down until they meet our demands. We also want to state that we are not going to take the 3.5% they are offering us. We are more than willing to negotiate with the employer.”
“However, they must know that they are not going to exploit our members. The security sector plays a huge role in this country, both in government and the private sector. We are calling on the employer to give us a meaningful offer, that’s it,” explains Tshemese.
Meanwhile, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) says the South African Revenue Service (SARS) claim that it has no money to spend on its workers’ increased salaries is a blatant lie.
The wage strike by workers at SARS is continuing. Employees affiliated to the Public Service Association (PSA) and Nehawu have rejected the revised offer of around 1.3% after initially demanding a 12 % increase.
The unions say SARS must present a better wage offer or face continued nationwide pickets and strike action at border posts and offices.