(Bloomberg) --

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa agreed to a new wage deal for steelworkers to bring an end to a strike that’s dragged on since Oct. 5, according to two people familiar with the pay negotiations.

The union is expected to ask its members to start reporting for work from Friday and operations should fully resume next week, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity as the union is yet to make an official announcement. Numsa accepted a 5% wage increase for skilled workers and 6% for those with general skills, one of the people said. 

The strike affected some mining, construction, engineering and metallurgical businesses. The labor action has dealt a further blow to an economy that shrank 6.4% last year due to stop-start shutdowns that were imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Lucio Trentini, chief executive officer of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa, said he wouldn’t comment before Numsa specified what it would do. Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, the union’s spokeswoman, said an announcement would be made later on Thursday.

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