A last-minute offer to labour unions on Friday could avert an industry-wide strike, but talks will resume on Tuesday to confirm whether a consensus has been reached.

A last-minute offer to labour unions on Friday could avert an industry-wide strike, but talks will resume on Tuesday to confirm whether a consensus has been reached.

After day-long talks on Friday, Brain Angus, executive director of the Steel Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa), said the last-minute offer from the agency to unions could avert the strike by more than 200 000 employees.

"We accepted the advice from mediators to revise our offer to 7,5 per cent for lower-category workers and 6,5 per cent for higher grades. Our principals have accepted our final offer," Angus told the .

Angus said the labour unions would take the new offer to its members and meet again on Tuesday to discuss the outcomes of those meetings.

Marius Landman, Uasa's metal and engineering sectoral manager, said: "While agreeing to take the matter to members, we have asked our members to return to work today."

Seifsa remained deadlocked with employers in the power utility, motor retail, and tyre and rubber sectors. Ameo's last formal offer was a 6,5 per cent across-the-board increase in the first year of a new agreement, while Numsa wanted nine per cent.