Strike over at BMW South African plant

News | August 22nd, 2010 by 5

More than a week ago, BMW, along with other automakers, have temporarily stopped production at their South African plants due to an employee strike. South …

More than a week ago, BMW, along with other automakers, have temporarily stopped production at their South African plants due to an employee strike. South African autoworkers were seeking wage increases more than triple the inflation rate.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, which represents 31,000 autoworkers, said it had rejected employers’ offer of a 7 percent increase in the first year and a raise equal to consumer price inflation in the remaining two years. The union was demanding a 15 percent wage increase.

On the eighth date of the strike, South African automobile manufacturers and a union representing thousands of auto workers have reached a deal on wages. The Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation and union Numsa signed a three-year wage deal on Friday that will see workers getting a 10 percent increase this year, and 9 percent in the next two years.

Strike over at BMW South African plant

The strike has not only affected BMW, but other large automakers, including Toyota, Ford, VW, Nissan, Daimler and GM.

The stoppage led to lost production of about 17,000 vehicles. South Africa’s auto industry, which the industry said accounts for about 6 percent to 7 percent of the country’s GDP, produces about 420,000 vehicles a year.

[Source: Automotive News ]

  • FreudeKing

    9% increase per year after a ten percent this year… these workers must be really skilled to justify such an increase.

    Obviously this increase in cost will be passed onto customers (you and me) all over the world. So what are the measueres that management at these production plant should put in place? Fire some of these workers and make existing ones work harder to justify the increase, move the next production of 3 Series somewhere else, etc… just some ideas. To have such an unconditional increase in wages fixed for the next few years does not seem like a bright idea. I would probably have implemented a variable payment system where the workers’ remuneration is based entirely on the company’s performance – that way, we would avoid problems such as workers trying to get the most out of the company instead of being part of the company, having the same goal.

    • Giom

      Have to agree whole heartedly.

      This increase really is short sighted… a shot in the foot for the long run maybe.

  • Tom

    The thing is… You can’t just “fire” a union worker. I feel the same way you do, it’s just not that easy!

    • FreudeKing

      Yes, you cannot fire a union worker, but there are so many ways that you can make a union worker leave:)

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