JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's automakers and a union representing 21,000 workers are close to reaching an agreement on wage increases that could prevent a strike, industry and union officials said on Monday.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) had said its members would go on strike on Monday after failing to agree on wage increases with employers.
"We won't pursue strike action today. Talks on Friday were impressive and we will make a final decision on Friday after consulting our members," said union spokesman Dumisa Ntuli.
The union is demanding a 9 percent across-the-board increase while employers are offering 6.5 percent.
"We are very close to an agreement and we should know by the end of the week if the members have accepted our proposals," said Automobile Manufacturers Employers' Organisation (Ameo) spokesman Dave Kirby.
NUMSA's Ntuli said he could not divulge the details until a deal had been reached.
Ameo members include BMW South Africa, DaimlerChrysler South Africa, Ford Motor Co. of Southern Africa, General Motors South Africa, Nissan South and Volkswagen South Africa.
Most have been awarded multi-billion-rand export deals by their parent companies, and the unions have traditionally used such obligations to force them to agree to their demands.
South Africa's auto manufacturers have won several contracts for the export market and make up 12.8 percent of the country's total exports.