The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is on strike at Arcelor Mittal. At the heart of the dispute is the fact that Arcelor Mittal abuses workers through labour brokers.
Large numbers of our members are employed through contractors, Real Tree Trading and Monyetla Services (the contractors), but work for Arcelor Mittal. We are told that the contractors are service providers and not labour brokers.
Our members have loyally served Arcelor Mittal while enduring poor wages and intolerable working conditions. Our members (employed by the contractors) work side by side with workers directly employed by Arcelor Mittal who receive much higher pay and benefits. This kind of needless exploitation is unacceptable.
Last year NUMSA won a landmark judgement in the Constitutional court which clearly stipulates that workers who are brought in through Labour brokers must become permanently employed after three months of working full time for the Main Employer, which in this case, is Arcelor Mittal. Arcelor Mittal has found creative ways to circumvent this ruling, so they can continue to abuse and exploit our members.
Our key demand is that Arcelor Mittal must permanently employ all workers presently employed by the contractors who render their services to Arcelor Mittal. The offer of employment must be on the same conditions of service and hold the same benefits as are applicable to employees of Arcelor Mittal.
We are willing to engage with the management team constructively to resolve this dispute as we would prefer to resolve this amicably. The strike will affect all Arcelor Mittal operations in Vanderbijlpark.
The struggle continues!
Issued by Mokete Makoko
NUMSA Regional Secretary Sedibeng