South African engineering union rejects second offer as strike hits BMW

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South African engineering union rejects second offer as strike hits BMW

CAPE TOWN, Oct 14 Reuters - South Africa's largest engineering union, NUMSA, rejected a second offer as a national strike that has already hit output at car maker BMW in its first week on Thursday, employer body SEIFSA said.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa NUMSA members with around 155,000 members organized in the sector, have been on strike since Oct. 5 to press for higher wages, an action that could hit supplies of parts to make new cars and accessories.

On Monday, luxury car manufacturer BMW said it lost production at its main assembly plant in South Africa when a number of suppliers were affected.

In spite of the fact that Sunday will be three days after the meeting, we can report that we do not have an agreement, Lucio Trentini, chief executive from industry body steel and engineering industries Federation of Southern Africa told Reuters.

We will plan this morning and regroup moving forward. The revised and improved offer has been refused, he added, after NUMSA took a revised offer to the members last week.

The strike was launched after wage talks hit a deadlock and arbitration failed, with NUMSA demanding an 8% across-the board wage rise in the first year and inflation plus 2% for the second and third years.

SEIFSA offered 4.4% for 2021, inflation plus 0.5% in 2022 and inflation plus 1% in the third year.

A NUMSA spokeswoman did not comment and said the group planned to have a press briefing later in the day.