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Sunday 21 September 2014

Ford halts production at South African plant due to strike

* NUMSA strike affects Ford's Pretoria plant
* Union, employers to meet on Monday

Published 14/07/2014 | 11:37

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Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford stands on top of the observation deck at the Empire State Building with the new 2015 Mustang convertible in honor of 50 years of the Ford Mustang in New York City. In 1965 a prototype Ford Mustang convertible made its way to the top of the observation deck. This time the iconic American car had to be brought up in parts and assembled on location. The Mustang will be on display for two days in celebration of the kick-off of the 2014 New York International Auto Show.
Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford

American motor company Ford said on Monday it has temporarily suspended production at one of its South African plants due to a strike at some of its suppliers.

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Members of South Africa's metal workers' union NUMSA downed tools in the engineering and steel sector on July 1, demanding 12-15 percent annual wage increases from the employers.

"Production at our Silverton assembly plant has been temporarily suspended due to the strike," Ford spokeswoman Alicia Chetty said.

Only Ford's Pretoria plant was affected and its other plant in Port Elizabeth was operating normally, Chetty said.

The strike, which began only a week after the end of a five-month stoppage in the platinum sector, has hit companies supplying components to the automobile sector.

General Motors halted production at its assembly plant in the southern city of Port Elizabeth over a week ago because of supply chain problems related to the stoppage.

Production at BMW and VW was normal, company officials said on Monday.

NUMSA rejected a 10pc pay offer from employers on Sunday and called on its 220,000 striking members in the sector to intensify the industrial action.

The union and employers were due to meet on Monday for further talks.

The strike has damaged wider investor sentiment in Africa's most advanced economy, which is teetering on the brink of recession after a first-quarter contraction caused in part by the platinum strike.

Reuters

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