SOUTH AFRICA: Strikers offered 21 package elements in bid to break deadlock
South Africa's automotive employers organisation, AMEO, says it has offered a "final package" to striking workers containing 21 items, as the lengthy walk-out continues to cripple the country's vehicle industry.
AMEO says the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), is still considering the package as the shut-down threatens to spill over into a fourth week and costing US$58m a day in lost production.
"We have...offered final package which contains 21 items - there is a lot of complex detail - this is a result of the wide range of demands we had," AMEO chairman Thapelo Molapo told just-auto from South Africa.
"Some of these things have complicated conditions which have to be understood. We [AMEO and NUMSA] will have to meet, probably either Johannesburg or Port Elizabeth, but it does not matter where."
The AMEO chairman expressed optimism a deal could be finalised by this weekend, as the elements of any agreement had been "effectively reached," but the negotiations have been hampered by the need to consult 17,000 NUMSA members across the seven striking plants.
"The process of consultation with workers on the shop floor - and here we are talking about 17,000 workers spread across seven [plants] - has had to be an elaborate process," said Molapo.
"That is not to say it could not have been done a lot quicker."
Although the employers organisation will not be drawn on the detail of the 21 elements in the package offered to strikers, the AMEO chairman noted it did include items such as wage increases, short-time allowances and transport benefits.
NUMSA has asked for transport and housing to be taken into consideration in any settlement, in a bid to alleviate what it refers to as the "miserable conditions" in which its members live.