22 February 2023
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) rejects the proposal to slash benefits, wages and conditions made by the management of ArcelorMittal South Africa. NUMSA, AMSA management and other registered trade unions met for the first round of wage talks earlier this week as part of the first round of wage talks.
NUMSA has presented a detailed list of demands including:
- 15% wage increases
- 1 year bargaining agreement
- Scrapping of labour brokers and service providers and all workers must be Insourced
- Integration of House Main agreement
- R5000 for housing allowance
- 6 months fully paid maternity leave
- 14 days paternity leave
- These wage talks and the agreements thereof must be extended to all workers, not just wage staff but salaried staff as well.
- We demand 80% contribution from the employer, and 20% contribution from the employee
- 100% short-time and layoff payment
- Gain sharing and not KPI
Plant specific demands
- Heat, dust and chemical allowance for exposed employees
- Scrapping of K grading
- Gain sharing and not KPI
AMSA did not respond to our demands. Instead, they made a proposal to slash salaries and benefits. They want to down vary conditions, and reverse all of the gains which workers have negotiated over the years. On top of the outrageous proposal to reduce wages, some of the proposals include forfeiting accrued leave and reducing sick leave and other benefits. They want workers to give up all their benefits, and sacrifice themselves and their families, so that executive management and the board can fatten their pockets even further! They are entirely driven by greed. What they are proposing is unfair labour practice, and we reject it with the contempt it deserves.
We are not surprised that under the leadership of Kobus Vester, AMSA has demonstrated once again, that it has no empathy and no sympathy for the suffering of its employees. At the height of the covid-19 pandemic it attempted to impose a 25% salary cut on the workforce. We rejected their attempts and they responded cruelly, by slashing jobs and dismissing workers through a section 189 process.
The management of AMSA are notorious for exploiting workers for their labour and paying them very poorly. The fact that labour brokering, is alive and well at AMSA, despite a court ruling, which NUMSA secured, says a lot about how the management views workers and their families. The constitutional court was clear that labour brokering, which is a modern form of slavery, can only be limited to three months, and thereafter, all temporary workers must be absorbed into the workforce and must receive the same benefits and wages as permanent employees. But AMSA is unapologetic for this brutal practice, even though it is dehumanizing for those who are subjected to it.
We will meet the employer for another round of wage talks on the 7th off March.
The struggle continues!
Issued by Kabelo Ramokathali
Sedibeng Regional Secretary
For more information, please contact:
NUMSA National Spokesperson
NUMSA Head Office number: 0116891700
NUMSA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NumsaSocial
NUMSA Twitter account: @Numsa_Media
NUMSA Website: https://numsa.org.za/