On July 15th 2012 2000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) employed by Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium in Mpumalanga downed tools in protest against salary cuts and retrenchments.
Russian multinational corporation, Evraz has ignored legislation and the collective agreement it has with NUMSA to make changes to workers' conditions of employment.
The company has cut workers' salaries by half and retrenched more than 500 workers, in its pursuit of greater profits.
Workers have embarked on a legal strike to demand that the company reinstate dismissed or unfairly laid off workers, reinstate workers' salaries and other conditions of employment and engage constructively with the union.
In response to the legal strike, Evraz has suspended its Highveld Steel and Vanadium operations and has said that it can’t guarantee supply from these mills.
It has also brought in hundreds of security personnel and police to intimidate workers.
Workers remain committed to their action, according to NUMSA shop steward at the company, “the situation is very tense but we are determined that we cannot accept such an outrageous act , they cant just cut our salaries, we have laws here and we’ll fight this with our union.”