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The turf wars between labour unions have had far-reaching and even bloody consequences for the SA labour market. Now, the strike in the metals and engineering sector has exposed tensions between employer bodies. It threatens to collapse collective bargaining, which could plunge the sector into chaos.

The sector is organised by the country’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), one of the most coherent and well-run trade unions...

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