Aluminium semi-fabricator Hulamin faces an indefinite strike at its KwaZulu-Natal operations as its 1800 workers downed tools.
Workers want an increase in the company’s medical aid contribution and for contributions to the Pension Fund to be equalised and to be settled separate from salary negotiations.
The medical aid contributions are currently capped at 40% by the employer with the workers contributing the balance.
The National Union of Metal Workers South Africa (Numsa), which represents 1 050 of the workers, said it would sustain the strike with production being interrupted until a meaningful offer was put on the table.
Numsa’s head of communications, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, said: “Management is resisting and they have not tabled an offer. They say they want to combine these issues with wage negotiations. However, we reject this because in the past this has been unsuccessful. We would have preferred to negotiate a settlement, however the employer has forced us into embarking on strike action in order to secure these demands.”
Hlubi-Majola said labour remained ready to negotiate.
Hulamin’s Human Capital Executive Marlene Janneker, said: “The strike commenced yesterday and is in its very early stages. Operational progress assessments are made on a regular basis and such plans will be deployed as and when appropriate. The parties remain in discussion and are committed to finding a resolution on the matter.”
Hulamin in March recorded a 22% revenue increase for the period to December 2022. Normalised operating profit, which in the previous year stood at R65 million, grew to R564.6m.