The metalworkers union had initially revised its demand down to 12 per cent in anticipation of a double digit increment.
“Numsa demands an increase of 15 per cent effective from 1 July 2014 to 2015. To be duly backdated for whatever reasons of delay,” said Numsa in a statement.
(READ MORE: South Africa's national union of metal workers go on strike)
The union is also calling for a housing allowance of not less than one thousand rand per month payable to each worker in the industry.
“Numsa believes that we are being duped by the bosses with their constant claim that our demands are totally unaffordable and unreasonable.”
“We demand that the bosses in the engineering sector disclose their financials so that we can better understand the financial position of the engineering employers.”
The 220,000 members union said the offer from employers was not commensurate with inflation figures in the country.
“The latest food inflation figures for May 2014 stand at 9.1 per cent while workers who bear the brunt of having to put food on the table for their unemployed extended family members are expected to accept a measly increase of eight per cent.”
“We give the employer 48 hours to respond to our demands and to return to the negotiating table with a commitment to a double digit offer for engineering workers.”
Earlier on Tuesday, senior government officials were trying to mediate with parties involved as to avert the strike which is likely to further haemorrhage the already bleeding economy.
(READ MORE: Industry remains positive as Numsa members down tools)
Industry players fear that if the Numsa strike takes a similar nature to the just ended platinum strike, the South African economy could see its projected growth forecast slipping further down.