The plant of German company BMW in South Africa has stopped production of cars because of the strike of steelworkers started in the country.
"Since the strike began, car assembly at the plant has stopped. It has also negatively affected several of the plant's suppliers," said BMW spokeswoman Haley Philander. According to her, there were not enough components to produce 700 cars, other details were not reported.
South Africa's largest national steelworkers' union (NUMSA) announced the start of a strike on October 5, 2021. Workers demanded an immediate eight percent wage increase and an additional two percent indexation in the future.
Initial negotiations between the South African workers' union and steel industry management had reached a stalemate. The union currently has about 155,000 steelworkers. "We have been left with no choice but to go on strike and stop work at the plants indefinitely until management meets our demands," NUMSA representatives said.
The National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) said they were concerned about the strike. "The entire automotive sector is concerned that the strike in the steel industry is still going on, but we know that negotiations for a resolution have moved forward, and we hope the parties will come to an agreement," said Renai Motilal, executive director of the association.
BMW previously reported an 18 percent drop in car sales due to a worldwide shortage of semiconductors. Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) analysts noted that the global auto industry was the hardest hit during the pandemic.