Johannesburg - Workers in South Africa's power, iron and
steel industries want a 20% wage hike increase this year from their employers,
the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Thursday.
"We anticipate arguments ...that the 20% wage increases
we require in 2011 will fuel inflation," the union said at a briefing
after its annual national bargaining conference.
Annual inflation is currently 3.7%.
The employers include power utility Eskom, which is also
raising rates steeply for its customers.
The union represents over 200 000 workers in the auto,
steel, engineering and energy sectors.
Other companies that could be affected are Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] and steelmaker ArcelorMittal SA [JSE:ACL]. But the union did not mention companies by name.
"We think that the 20% is justifiable if you look at the levels of indebtedness of our members who are directly affected," the union said.
Numsa is also demanding an extra 15% morning day shift allowance and 20% night shift allowance in the metals engineering sector.
Last year several unions, including those representing about a million state workers, won pay rises of more than double the rate of inflation, leading the finance ministry to say the deals posed a threat to the economy.