Strike over wages at Toyota hits South African auto sector
CAPE TOWN (REUTERS) - Workers downed tools on Monday at the South African unit of Japanese auto maker Toyota, the company said, signaling the start of a nationwide strike in the auto sector over wages.
The strike, which could affect over 30,000 assembly line workers, was called last week by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).
South Africa's auto industry contributes at least 6 percent to the country's GDP and 12 percent of its total exports. The stoppage is likely to compound the woes of Africa's largest economy, where unrest in the mining sector has slowed growth.
"All manufacturing and assembly production at the plant are shut down," said Leo Kok, the spokesman for Toyota, the largest vehicle exporter in South Africa.