Nationwide strike against Macsteel called off
Cape Town - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has called off a nationwide strike after it has reached an agreement with steel manufacturer, Macsteel.
The union members embarked on a two-day strike demanding the reinstatement of the 99 workers who were retrenched during the Covid-19 pandemic, under the same conditions they had before retrenchment.
Numsa provincial secretary Vuyo Lufele said the employer offered 154 vacant positions that were available for replacement of the workers that were retrenched, which he said were not the same positions that they held.
“Now out of 93 Numsa members that made us go on strike the 154 positions can accommodate them if they are comfortable with them. With that there will be a salary increase of 6,25% in general,” he said.
Lufele said the striking members were back at work and those that were retrenched are expected to resume work on Monday.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said Macsteel will ensure that the workers do not earn less than what they earned before retrenchment.
“The settlement ensures that all retrenched workers will retain all monies paid to them including the severance pay, paid to them when they were retrenched during December, even if they are re-hired in a new post.
“We have also secured in the agreement that all employees who participated in the strike will be paid their wages and benefits in full even if they downed tools during that period,” she said.
Hlubi-Majola said all retrenched workers will be paid their salaries and benefits in full for the months of January and February.
Macsteel welcomed the return to work of its employees as it said the impasse between unionised and non-unionised workers was resolved. “The company reached a mutual consensus with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa late yesterday. Macsteel regrets the need for these retrenchments but remains committed to adapting to changing economic conditions and protecting remaining jobs.”