Mercedes at risk as supplier strikes

A strike at one of Mercedes-Benz SA’s (MBSA) major parts suppliers threatens to halt production at the carmaker’s East London plant.

Yesterday, workers at Lear Corporation, which produces MBSA seats, downed tools demanding that the company pay them salaries on a par with those of 2013, after pay rates were slashed by half last year.

The workers say they also want labour brokers banned and medical aid deductions stopped.

MBSA chief executive and vice-president for manufacturing Arno van der Merwe said: “At this point in time we do not know how long the industrial action will last, but production is continuing. If the strike continues and a solution is not found, production at our C-Class facility will be affected.”

A Lear Corporation manager, who only identified himself as Andile, said the company had no comment.

A list of questions that were e-mailed to Lear Corporation’s plant manager, Kevin Scott, were not responded to at the time of going to print.

-Siya Miti and Bongani Fuzile

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