* Engineering and metal workers on strike for a week
* Eskom workers demanding 12 percent pay rise
* Miners at Marula back at work
(Recasts with union taking offer to members)
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng and David Dolan
JOHANNESBURG, July 8 South Africa's striking
NUMSA union said on Tuesday it would take the latest offer from
the main employers' group to its members on Wednesday, possibly
ending a week-old stoppage that has hit car manufacturers.
A spokesman for the engineering and metal workers' union did
not elaborate on the offer. The labour ministry said the two
sides were "very close" to securing a deal.
"The differences are in terms of fractions," ministry
spokesman Mokgadi Pela told Reuters.
Pretoria has intervened to try to break a deadlock that is
costing industry an estimated 300 million rand ($28 million) a
Africa's most advanced economy is struggling to recover from
a series of work stoppages that have eroded business confidence.
The strike by more than 200,000 NUMSA members, asking for
increases of between 12 to 15 percent, follows a crippling
walkout by platinum miners that lasted five months.
The mining strike ended two weeks ago when the country's top
three platinum producers struck a deal with the Association of
Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to increase wages by
about 20 percent.
Separately, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) warned
on Tuesday that state-owned power utility Eskom was "sitting on
a time bomb" for not allowing employees to strike, signalling
workers there might embark on an unofficial stoppage.
Industrial action at Eskom, which provides 95 percent of the
power to Africa's biggest economy, could force plants such as
smelters, mines and factories to shut down.
The NUM, which represents around 16,000 workers at Eskom,
has already rejected a 5.6 percent wage offer and is demanding
"If doctors can strike in South Africa, why can't Eskom
workers strike?" NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni told a news
"Our members are angry. Eskom is sitting on a time bomb."
Baleni said the workers, who are not allowed to strike as
they are deemed to provide an essential service, were angry,
adding the union would not stop a wildcat strike.
"Anything is possible at Eskom. If workers decide to react
in various forms including an unprotected strike, we cannot be
blamed," he said.
Last month's wage settlement in the platinum belt ignited a
separate wildcat strike by 2,000 NUM-affiliated workers at
Impala Platinum's Marula mine on Friday.
But those miners are now back to work and negotiations have
started on their demands that Implats match the deal obtained by
AMCU in other platinum mines.
"They are all back to work. We are now engaging with them
about their concerns," Implats spokeswoman Alice Lourens said.
($1 = 10.7495 South African Rand)
(Writing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Zandi Shabalala; Editing
by Andrew Roche)