The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said it supports the workers’ strike at ArcelorMittal South Africa, led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).
The strike began on May 11. ArcelorMittal SA has approached the Labour Court to interdict some of the workers in its employ considered to be essential, an interdict that the Labour Court granted.
“It is strange the Labour Court has ruled in favour of the employer by granting the interdict without the Essential Service Committee (ESC), declaring those services essential. Numsa will meet its members at the company to explain the implications of the interdict, and thereby determine a way forward,” a statement said.
Saftu said it was supported the demands of workers including a 10 percent wage increase, housing allowance, 80 percent medical aid contribution by employer, scrapping of labour brokers and in-sourcing of temporary employees.
“In the context of higher production and higher earnings in the sector and particularly for the company in the last year, Saftu believes the company can afford the demands of metalworkers,” the union said.
The steel manufacturer’s decision to seek an interdict preventing some of its employees from taking part in the national strike of more than 3 500 employees has aggravated Numsa, which says it won’t back down from its demands.
Striking workers also want ArcelorMittal to pay 80 percent of workers’ medical aid fees because their work involving heavy chemicals, is hazardous.