South African trade union Numsa will organize a national strike in the country’s tech sector from Oct. 5 after wage talks have reached an impasse, the union said on Tuesday.
Employers in the key economic sector, which has struggled during an economic downturn exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, have been hesitant to demand Numsa’s demands for an 8% increase in the first year and inflation plus 2% for the next two years.
Sector organization Seifsa, which is offering a 4.4% increase for 2021, inflation plus 0.5% in 2022 and inflation plus 1% in the third year, confirmed the deadlock and strike call with Reuters.
“We will launch the strike with a national march,” the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said in a statement.
Numsa is the largest trade union in the engineering sector and has reached an impasse with the four major employers’ organizations in the Engineering Bargaining Council, which represents approximately 430,000 workers in 90,000 companies in South Africa.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa) said strikes would have significant impacts on the struggling economy and businesses.
“We have lost an unprecedented number of jobs and companies are really struggling to keep their doors open,” said Lucio Trentini, CEO of Seifsa.