Strike stops car production in South Africa

Posted on 22 Aug 2013 by Ruari McCallion

More than 30,000 workers at BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen are affected.

All car assembly in South Africa has been stopped by a strike by NUMSA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

The strike, which has already lasted for three days, has been called over two issues: the union’s demand for 14% across-the-board pay rise and a demand for 100% pay during temporary lay-offs caused by logistics problems in the supply chain.

Workers are currently sent home without pay in the event of stoppages caused by supply chain disruption. The carmakers have offered a six percent pay increase, which is in line with South Africa’s current rate of inflation. A spokesman for Nissan said that it and other members of  the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation (AMEO) are working towards a speedy and “amicable” resolution, and seeking to return to normal operations as soon as possible.

The stoppage is causing additional problems for BMW, which is already subject to strike action in connection with a shift dispute. The company says that it is losing production at the level of 345 units for each day that the disruption persists.