South Africa's main automotive union is putting a latest pay offer from employers to its members today (2 September), as the country's hugely expensive strike enters its third week.

According to the Automotive Employers Association (AMEO), the leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), has accepted a package put to it, with the labour body now consulting its members.

AMEO estimates the walk-out is costing US$58m per day as 31,000 auto workers continue industrial action in a bid to secure wage increases of 14%, coupled with a range of other improved benefits such as transport and housing.

"The strike is still on and there are consultations with members about resolving [it]," NUMSA chief automotive negotiator, Alex Mashilo, told just-auto from South Africa. "Only when these are concluded will we be in a position to understand what [action] is to be taken next.

"We have meetings with the workers at their plants today. We don't want to stifle members' attitudes towards the package...so we leave it entirely to them to decide."

The walk-out is costing NUMSA members a considerable amount in lost pay, particularly as Mashilo said the union was not funding any shortfall in wages while the damaging strike continues.

"When the workers went on strike, they went on strike knowing full well they would be losing their wages," said Mashilo. "They are fighting for better conditions of employment."

Employers had originally offered an 8% settlement to resolve the impasse, but neither they nor NUMSA would comment on reports a revised offer of 10% had been made.

The auto walk-out comes as a wave of industrial unrest has plagued South Africa, with the construction and airline sectors also hit.