Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) embarked on a national strike on Tuesday following a deadlock in negotiations for a new wage deal.
Union members didn’t report for duty in five of the country’s nine provinces and will begin picketing and marching during the course of the morning, Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said by phone. The union has about 155,000 members and the strike is expected to attract more than 300 000 workers, including from allied unions, she added.
“The strike is on and nothing has changed,” Hlubi-Majola said. “As of this morning, workers didn’t go to work so we are on strike.”
Numsa, one of the biggest labour organisations in South Africa, is demanding an 8% wage increase in the first year and a 2%-above-inflation increase in the subsequent two years.