A dispute over salary increases for workers in SA's engineering and steel industry has been declared by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA. The union is now threatening strike action in the industry, which could be disastrous for an economy that took a R50-billion hit due to the recent social unrest.
A general strike in the public sector, which could have shut down state hospitals, schools, and police stations, has been averted but possible industrial action might be in the offing in SA's engineering and steel industry.
A strike in the engineering and steel industry, which contributes about 10% to SA's overall economic activity, could further harm an economy that is still reeling from Covid-19 related lockdowns and the recent week of anarchy.
In the public sector, salary negotiations were concluded in July after a majority of trade unions that represent 1.3 million public servants accepted the government's offer of a 1.5% salary increase for 2021.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which claims to have more than 339,000 members, has trashed the government's offer for public servants, calling it an "insult" because public sector unions were pushing for an increase of at least...