Solidarity today expressed its concern about the way in which ArcelorMittal South Africa (Amsa) is dealing with the current retrenchment process. “It is shocking how Amsa tries to justify the retrenchment crisis, which will put 2 000 jobs in jeopardy,” said Solidarity Deputy General Secretary, Marius Croucamp.
This came after Solidarity ended up with even more questions than answers regarding the alternative options and remedies considered by Amsa, at the conclusion of the third consultation meeting held on 28 August. According to Croucamp, Amsa maintains that it has no other choice but to retrench 2 000 employees. “Despite Amsa’s reasons for reducing the number of jobs, we are still not convinced that this steel giant has considered all possible remedies to prevent retrenchments. Sufficient indications exist that alternative remedies are, in fact, available,” Croucamp said.
Solidarity, together with Numsa and Uasa, urged Amsa and all the parties involved in the retrenchment process to convene an urgent meeting with the Department of Trade and Industry and other relevant government departments to discuss other remedies.
Croucamp added that although Amsa agreed to the proposal for a meeting, it refuses to forgo the retrenchment process pending the outcome of the meeting. “The fact that Amsa wants to go ahead with the retrenchment process before all possibilities have been considered, is proof that it wants to take the quick and easy way out without taking into account the impact of these retrenchments on the economy and the industry,” Croucamp said.
Solidarity will write another letter to Amsa today requesting that Amsa should reconsider the process and instead focus on alternative remedies in the short term, with the assistance and support of the trade unions involved in the process.