Bloomberg News

South African Metal, Engineering Workers to End Pay Strike

July 17, 2011

(Updates with details of wage agreement from second paragraph.)

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- About 320,000 workers in South Africa’s metals and engineering industries will return to work in the next 48 hours after securing a wage agreement with their employers.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa agreed to a wage increase of 10 percent, ending a strike that began on July 4, said Frederick Gina, the union’s president, in a phone interview today.

Under the terms of the settlement, companies will pay workers an extra 8 percent a year over the next two years and will phase out the use of labor brokers, Numsa said in an e- mailed statement.

The union had demanded an increase of 13 percent, while the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa, which represents employers, had offered 7 percent.

South Africa has suffered repeated strikes over the past two weeks as mine and factory workers pushed for wages to climb at more than double the rate of inflation.

--Editors: Will Hadfield, Alastair Reed

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren van der Westhuizen in Cape Town Nef at lvanderwesth@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alastair Reed at areed12@bloomberg.net


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