JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Sept. 19)—Unionized workers at South Africa's tire plants have ended a four-week strike and returned to work after agreeing to a new three-year contract calling for an 8-percent increase in the wage and benefits package this year and indexed raises thereafter. The strike, organized by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and affecting 6,000 workers, forced South Africa's tire makers to run their plants at only a fraction of capacity throughout the four weeks, resulting in an estimated $16 million in lost sales, according to local media reports. Initially, NUMSA sought a 10-percent raise, and the tire makers—represented by the New Tyre Manufacturing Employers association—offered 7.5 percent. Workers returned to their jobs Sept. 18. Companies affected by the strike were Dunlop Africa Ltd., Bridgestone Firestone South Africa (Pty.) Ltd., Continental Tyre South Africa (Pty.) Ltd. and Goodyear South Africa Ltd.