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Sep 20, 2013

Auto industry concludes three-year wage agreement

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A new three-year wage agreement between the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) and South African vehicle assemblers secured workers a 10% across-the-board increase in the first year, as well as an extra sum of money, which will vary according to pay scale. The second and third year will see an 8.5% across-the-board increase, with additional money again added according to pay scale.

The increases additional to the across-the-board wage hikes originate in a wage adjustment Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) made for its team leaders outside the previous three-year wage agreement, says Numsa chief negotiator Alex Mashilo.

He adds that five of the seven car and bakkie manufacturers have accepted the new multiyear wage agreement, with TSAM and BMW South Africa (SA) not doing so.

BMW SA confirms that this is the case, owing to a persisting problem around shift allowances, but notes that its Rosslyn plant has returned to production, following a three-week industry strike.

TSAM spokesperson Leo Kok says personnel have also been called back to the company’s operations.

“We are in talks with staff around the outstanding wage issues.”

Mashilo confirms that there are “mechanisms in place” to deal with the outstanding issues at TSAM and BMW SA.

A statement released on August 30 by the National Association of Automobile Manu- facturers of South Africa and TSAM president Dr Johan van Zyl noted that the vehicle and automotive component manufacturing industry, including exports, accounted for around 30% of South Africa’s manufacturing output and about 4.5% of the country’s gross domestic product.

During the strike, TSAM lost around 700 vehicles a day at its Durban plant. General Motors South Africa (GMSA) lost 225 vehicles a day.

BMW SA, Ford Motors Company of South- ern Africa, GMSA, Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Nissan South Africa, TSAM and Volkswagen Group South Africa all produce bakkies and cars in South Africa for the local and export markets.

UD Trucks Southern Africa and MAN Truck & Bus South Africa assemble trucks and buses in South Africa, and are included in the Numsa wage agreement.

The previous three-year wage agreement in the automotive assembly industry, signed in 2010, resulted in an eight-day strike. The three-year agreement provided for an across-the-board wage increase of 10% in 2010, and a 9% increase in both 2011 and 2012.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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