A potential strike in the motor industry has been avoided after the employers’ organisation and the union reached agreement on wage increases.

A potential strike in the motor industry has been avoided after the employers’ organisation and the union reached agreement on wage increases.

According to the Automobile Manufacturers Employers’ Organisation (Ameo) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) sorted out the details on Friday. Wage negotiations had earlier hit a snag over the recent miscalculation of the inflation rate.

It was announced last month that Statistics South Africa had miscalculated the CPIX (consumer price index) by 0,6 per cent last year. Numsa spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli said last week that employers had demanded that the union pay back the 0,6 per cent extra in wages that had been erroneously paid to workers as a result of the miscalculation. He said this could have potentially caused a strike.

The union had also been asking for an 8,7 per cent raise, but Ameo had been offering an 8,1 per cent increase. On Friday the parties agreed on 8,7 per cent, effective from July 1. Ameo spokesman Dave Kirby told the newspaper that the interest rate miscalculation problem still had to be solved. “We agreed not to let it bedevil this round and left it open to go forward into future discussions,” he said.

Ntuli said that employers had to wait until next year to bring up the CPIX problem again when negotiations for a new agreement were held.