The South African BMW plant has been idle for more than a week due to a strike by workers of a metallurgical plant. The assembly line for the production of BMW X3 crossovers has been stopped due to a lack of components, and the timing of the factory restart is unknown. The largest national union of metallurgists in South Africa (NUMSA) went on strike on October 5 and demanded an eight percent increase in wages and its annual indexation by two percent.
Representatives of NUMSA argue that the strike was the only way out, since the leaders of the metallurgical plants did not want to make concessions. The NUMSA trade union has about 155 thousand people, so if the parties do not come to a compromise, not only the BMW plant will stop, but other enterprises as well.
The Federation of Ferrous Metallurgy and Mechanical Engineering invites workers to agree to an instant wage increase of 4.4 percent, an indexation of 0.5 percent in 2022 and one percent in 2023, but they are not satisfied with such conditions. As of October 13, BMW had lost 700 cars – this is how many cars were not produced due to lack of spare parts.
Other auto manufacturers are concerned about the situation with a possible shortage of metal, but Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota said that the strike has not yet affected them. However, if the downtime of metallurgical plants lasts more than two weeks, then the disruption to supply chains will affect other automotive corporations.
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