Solidarity today confirmed that it has received a section 189A retrenchment notice for Africa’s largest steel supplier, ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA). The notice states that about 50 workers may be affected by this retrenchment.
This follows after Wim de Klerk, Chief Executive of AMSA, announced in a statement late yesterday afternoon that AMSA would implement cost saving measures as well as structural changes that can lead to potential job losses due to tremendous pressure experienced in the steel industry and the decline in demand for steel. De Klerk has argued that it is too early to give a decisive answer as to how many workers will be affected by the retrenchments, but it is possible that more than 50 jobs will be affected. Solidarity expects a major impact. According to Solidarity Deputy General Secretary in the Metal and Engineering Industry, Marius Croucamp, ArcelorMittal forms the backbone of all employment in the Vaal Triangle (66%), Newcastle (66%) and Saldanha (25%.
Croucamp said that the trade union will enter into serious discussions with ArcelorMittal to discuss alternatives so that retrenchments will be considered as the last resort. “We will do everything we can to prevent possible retrenchments,” said Croucamp.
Croucamp said that Solidarity is actively involved in the steel industry and that it will attempt to soften the impact of economic pressure on workers through its Save Our Steel campaign. “We are going to work together with AMSA to ensure the company’s sustainability,” said Croucamp.