The first round of wage talks in the metals and engineering sector got under way on Thursday amid concerns from employers that the unions’ demands for above-inflation increases are unaffordable due to stalled economic growth spawned by Covid-19.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the country’s largest metalworkers’ union with 360,000 members, is demanding a one-year, 15% salary increase across the board, while Solidarity is demanding the consumer price index plus 5%...

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