CAPE TOWN -- BMW's output at its Rossyln plant in South Africa has been hit by a wage strike in the engineering sector by the country's biggest metalworkers' union.
"While our associates have been reporting for work, we have lost production since the strike commenced because a number of suppliers to the plant have been affected," BMW spokesperson Hailey Philander said on Monday.
She said production of about 700 vehicles was lost but gave no further details. Rosslyn, around 60 kms (37 miles) from Johannesburg, builds the X3 compact SUV.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) launched the strike last Tuesday after pay talks with employer bodies reached a deadlock, raising fears the action would spill over and block supplies of parts to make new cars.
On Friday, NUMSA said its members were considering a new proposal to end the strike. On Monday, the union was still collating feedback before making a decision.
NUMSA, with around 155,000 members organized in the sector, wants an 8 percent across-the-board wage hike in the first year, and inflation plus 2 percent for the second and third years.
Industry body Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) had initially offered 4.4 percent for 2021, inflation plus 0.5 percent in 2022 and inflation plus 1 percent in the third year.
"It is concerning for the whole autos manufacturing sector that the strike in the metals and engineering space has continued till now, but we know that negotiations to resolve are advanced and we hope a breakthrough is imminent," said Renai Moothilal, executive director at the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM).
Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota all said they had not been affected by the strike so far.