THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has served the management of steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (Amsa) with a notice to strike today.
“We have been engaging in wage talks under the auspices of the Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council since March and we have deadlocked with the employer,“ the labour union said in a statement.
Amsa is Africa’s largest steel producer and it supplies more than 60 percent of the steel used in South Africa and exports the rest to sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.
Numsa is demanding a 10 percent percent wage increase across the board, a housing allowance, 80 percent medical aid contribution by Amsa as well as the scrapping of labour brokers and insourcing of temporary employees.
Amsa’s CEO, Kobus Verster said, “We believe the company’s offer is fair and takes into account both the current economic conditions and the future sustainability of the business.”
Amsa said its final offer was 7 percent, comprising of a 5 percent increase across the board on all remuneration elements as well as a 2 percent cash equivalent based on all remuneration elements to be paid monthly.
“The company is concerned that unsustainable increases in base pay will lead to cost pressures which will weaken our competitiveness,” said Verster. “Our industry remains very cost sensitive, challenging and volatile. To survive and be sustainable, we need to ensure that our cost base remains competitive so that we can manage through the downturns.”
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE