Strike damage ‘irreparable’
AFRIBUSINESS said yesterday that a strike by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), if it went ahead, would cause irreparable damage to the economy. This comes as Numsa last week slammed “intransigent” employers in the engineering sector and warned of a “total shutdown” in the industry as it goes into a fifth wage negotiation meeting. Numsa declared a dispute with employers in the engineering sector wage negotiations which deadlocked last month. Afribusiness’s labour law advice unit manager, Charles Castle, warned that the strike that Numsa was threatening the entire metal and engineering industry with would harm, rather than benefit, the workers. He said if Numsa proceeded with its strike, the sector should expect more retrenchments and job losses which South Africa could not afford at this stage with a current unemployment rate above 27 percent.