South Africa's NUMSA union agrees wage deal to end four-week strike

JOHANNESBURG Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:15pm EDT

Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) point at workers at a construction site not taking part in the strike during a protest on the streets of Durban July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) point at workers at a construction site not taking part in the strike during a protest on the streets of Durban July 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Rogan Ward

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's main manufacturing union, NUMSA, has agreed to end a four-week strike after accepting a wage increase offer from employers, union leader Irvin Jim said on Monday.

More than 200,000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) downed tools on July 2 to demand higher wages, halting production at automakers including General Motors and hitting work at new power plants.

Members of South Africa's largest union will return to work on Tuesday after it accepted a 10 percent annual pay rise fixed for three years for its lowest-paid workers.

"The settlement offer has been overwhelmingly and unanimously accepted by members," Jim told reporters.

A smaller union, the 20,000-strong United Association of South Africa (UASA), earlier said it had accepted the wage increase offer.

The metals and engineering strike came soon after the end of a five-month walkout in the platinum sector, the longest and costliest strike in South Africa's history.

(Additional reporting by Ed Stoddard and Wendell Roelf; Writing by Joe Brock; editing by David Dolan)

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