Solidarity today urged ArcelorMittal South Africa (Amsa) to save hundreds of jobs by selling its Saldanha steel plant. Interest in the Saldanha plant from two unknown buyers could result in saving the jobs of almost 1000 employees.
“Solidarity is strongly opposed to the closure of this plant. All possibilities to save this plant must be investigated and its closure should be prevented at all costs,” said Willie Venter, Solidarity Deputy General Secretary for the Metal and Engineering Industry.
This follows after Amsa’s announcement on 11 November 2019, that it intends to retrench 900 workers in the first quarter of 2020 when its plant in Saldanha in the Western Cape will close down. Due to more expensive raw materials, regulated prices and a decline in the demand for steel products, participation in export markets apparently is not sustainable.
“The extent of the planned job losses at Amsa will be a catastrophe, not only for the employees and contractors working at the plant, but also for their families and the greater community. The impact will be enormous, and it will have a negative impact on the broader economy of the Western Cape,” Venter argued.
Solidarity warned that if Amsa cannot find a solution to keep the plant in operation, Amsa should seriously consider the offer to sell. “Everything possible must to be done to ensure job security and sustainable income,” Venter concluded.