UPDATE 1-Unions call end to South Africa strikes
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Workers in South Africa's motor and gold industries will return to work this week after the last of strikes that have crippled operations at some of the country's biggest producers were resolved on Sunday.
Prolonged labour disputes in these two key exporting industries threatened to compound the woes of Africa's largest economy still reeling from last year's violent strikes in mining and ongoing problems in the platinum sector.
"We are calling off the strike so workers can return on Monday," the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's (NUMSA) deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said on Sunday.
The dispute over pay affected more than 30,000 assembly line workers at major carmakers in South Africa, including Toyota , Ford, General Motors and Nissan.
Cloete said the union recommended workers accept an increase of 11.5 percent for this year and 10 percent in each of the next two years.
Separately, Harmony Gold Mining said employees striking at its operations had agreed to an offer that would hopefully see them return to work as of Sunday night.
This brings to an end the gold industry strike which started on Tuesday night. Workers at other gold majors like AngloGold Ashanti and Sibanye Gold returned to work on Friday after accepting the industry offer of an increase of between 7.5 and 8 percent.
"Harmony increased its offer in respect of wages and benefits in line with other producers, in the interests of long term industrial relations stability, safety and security in the sector, and on condition that employees returned to work," Harmony chief executive Graham Briggs said in a statement.