Negotiations to halt the automotive component strike in South Africa could continue late into tonight (6 September) as both sides strive to reach a settlement.

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) is claiming a 100% walkout of its 70,000 members in protest at wages and conditions, but is currently meeting employers in Johannesburg through the auspices of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

“We can find a solution but it might be optimistic today,” NUMSA president Cedric Gina told just-auto.

RMI CEO Jeff Osborne confirmed to just-auto at a break from the negotiations in a Johannesburg hotel, that talks could continue “well into the night,” and that although progress had been made, there had been no significant breakthroughs so far.

“There is a very strong commitment to resolve this on both sides, absolutely, that is my sense,” he said. “We have got workers who are off in the automotive [sector] for around eight days and find themselves on a short pay situation.

“From a broader perspective, everyone understands the implications of this type of strike.”

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