ArcelorMittal South Africa regrets the decision by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to embark on a strike which is unlawful in the company’s view. This is despite attempts to engage to find an amicable resolution to this matter.
The strike action, which has had minimal participation, centers around two historical issues, which ArcelorMittal South Africa believes have been adequately addressed with NUMSA in previous engagements.
NUMSA is demanding permanent placement of Real Tree employees at ArcelorMittal South Africa. Real Tree is an independently registered service provider that secures contracts from ArcelorMittal South Africa through a robust tender process. The Metals and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) has confirmed that Real Tree is not a labor broker but is a service provider for ArcelorMittal South Africa. ArcelorMittal South Africa also believes that NUMSA has not followed the provisions of the Recognition Agreement before bringing this demand to the company. Further, NUMSA has agreed in various interactions with Real Tree that it is not a labor broker and thus its current press release is contradictory to its historical stance on this issue.
On the second matter, in October 2016, two NUMSA shop stewards were disciplined for misconduct and were dismissed, a decision that was upheld by the MEIBC as well as confirmed by an external investigation. As far as the company is concerned, the matter has been appropriately dealt with and the investigation is closed. This matter is currently before the labor court and will be dealt with by the relevant authorities.
Strike action on these issues is not in the best interests of employees, and NUMSA members who choose to participate in the unlawful strike are exposing themselves to both legal and financial risks. The company will apply the “no work, no pay” principle, as defined in the Labor Relations Act, to employees who choose to participate in the strike.
ArcelorMittal South Africa remains firmly focused on transforming the business for future growth, success and sustainability in the interests of all its stakeholders.
The safety and well being of ArcelorMittal South Africa employees remains the company’s number one priority. Also, to minimize any potential impact to production as a result of this unlawful strike, the company has introduced contingency plans at its various plants.
ArcelorMittal South Africa continues to engage employees.