BUSINESS ROUNDUPHOPES FADE FOR STRIKE DEAL Hopes of settling the five-day motor industry strike appear bleak in spite of plans by unions and employers to sit down again on Monday or Tuesday, writes DON ROBERTSON.
The National Union of Metal Workers of SA (Numsa) has called for another "secondary" strike by its members in the motor manufacturing sector on September 22 in support of those employed in panel beating shops and petrol stations.
This follows Tuesday's "sympathy" strike at motor assembly plants, which was reportedly not fully supported.
Some motor manufacturers experienced only minor disruptions last week, and were able to operate paint shops and engine plants. Final production at some plants was prevented.
A spokesman for the SA Motor Industries Employers Association (Samie) says that although Numsa represents about 170 000 members in this sector of the industry, only about 20 000 have headed the strike call.
Union members are asking for overall increases of between 12% and 18%, while Samie is offering an increase in minimum wages of 4.5%, suggesting that actual wages be negotiated individually at 18 000 employer companies.
SAA RESOLVES DISPUTE South African Airways said late on Friday it had reached an agreement to end a five-day strike by unionised flight attendants, check-in clerks and administration personnel.
The two-year wage deal with 1 200 members of the South African Transport Association Workers Union (Satawu) was reached late on Friday afternoon, the airline said in a statement.
IDC GO-AHEAD FOR MAPUTO The Industrial Development Corporation has signed an agreement with the Mozambique government, giving the go-ahead for the Maputo Iron and Steel project.
The IDC is co-sponsor of the project, along with Enron Southern Africa, which will supply gas from the Pande field 610km north of Maputo.
Construction is expected to begin early in 2000 and be completed in mid-2003 to produce 3.5-million tons of steel slab for export through the port of Maputo.
About 5 000 jobs will be created during construction and the start-up stage. During the next phase, additional steel industry partners will join the project, financing will be arranged and an engineering contractor will be appointed.
COCA-COLA DUMPS ZAMBIA International soft drink giant Coca Cola has suspended plans to invest $75-million in Zambia because of the government's failure to reduce excise duty on imports. "We are extremely disappointed to learn that the government of Zambia, rather than ratify the agreement made with us in May this year, has since referred the matter of excise taxation back to the Zambia Revenue Authority," said Carl Ware, Coca Cola president for Africa. "It is not possible for us to implement our planned $75-million investment programme," he said. Top of page