THE IMPACT OF INDUSTRIAL ACTION ON THE MOTOR MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY: A CASE STUDY OF BMW, DAIMLER CHRYSLER, TOYOTA AND VOLKSWAGEN OF SOUTH AFRICA FROM 2006 TO 2009
South Africa’s organizations are influenced in one way or the other, by unionized labour which tends to govern their business activities and thus accelerate labour disputes that leads to industrial action. Since numerous disputes centre in interests and not in rights, industrial action can and does occur. Sometimes it may occur before procedures are utilized and at others after the procedures have been exhausted.
There are various reports on the number of strikes that took place in the motor manufacturing industry. These included the following: About 49 000 workers in the motor components industry that went on strike on September 12 2007 over wages. The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) offered a raise of between 8,5% and 10% based on workers’ grading. National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) was demanding a 9% increase, and a minimum wage of R2 000 a month or R509 a week.
All these strike actions led to several motor-manufacturing plants in the country closing doors temporarily as parts became unavailable. These plants included Volkswagen General Motors, Daimler Chrysler, Nissan and Toyota (Mail & Guardian, 2007:20 and Business Report, 2007:2). Another Numsa industrial action took place in September 18 2009 whereby Volkswagen lost about 500 cars per day (Mail & Guardian, 2009: 25).
The aim of the empirical study is to get an insight of the reasons behind industrial action in this sector. Furthermore it will highlight the effects of industrial action on the productivity of the firm as well as its impact on the employees, the Government as well as the community at large, technologically, politically, legally, socially, economically. Moreover a strategic model to solve the problem will be developed.
The literature review will be done in order to highlight various aspects of the theory surrounding industrial action in order to get a better insight of the problem under investigation. Research Methodology to be used will also include both the Quantitative and Qualitative modes of inquiry. Looking at the nature of the study the scientific method of data collection will be the survey method whereby questionnaires coupled by interviews will be used. Recommendations based on the findings will be outlined in order to improve the entire system where gaps have been identified.