FILE PHOTO: Stored rolls of steel are seen outside the ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity announced on Wednesday that it managed to reach common ground with steel giant ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA), and that it has signed a wage agreement which would be favourable to all parties.

Solidarity last month referred its dispute with AMSA to the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) as negotiations had yielded no results after various rounds of negotiations.

Marius Croucamp, Solidarity's deputy general secretary for the metal and engineering industry, said the signed offer involves a three-year wage agreement with a seven-percent increase in the medical contribution and a similar increase in wages for employees on the H and I grades.

Workers on the J and K grades will get a 7.5 percent increase in the first year. In the second and third years, a seven percent increase will apply for all grades and in respect of all allowances.

Croucamp said the wage increase and allowance increase will be backdated to 1 April this year. He said that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which has been demanding 11-percent wage increases across the board, was still in a dispute with the employer.

"If the other trade union secures a better offer, this offer will also apply to our members,” Croucamp said. "We are pleased by this agreement as it provides for stability in the work environment and it offers our members job security."

- African News Agency (ANA)