Trade union Solidarity on Monday said the impending strike in the steel industry would have a negative impact, both on the domestic steel industry and the country’s economy, as well as on job opportunities in the sector.
This comes after the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) earlier pledged its support to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) as far as Numsa’s planned strike action in the metals and engineering industry is concerned.
According to Solidarity metals and engineering industry director-general Marius Croucamp, the impending strike is a consequence of a lack of commitment from employers and trade unions alike to find a solution to the wage dispute.
“Earlier, Solidarity expressed its willingness to enter into bilateral talks with employer organisations, but only a handful of organisations showed an inclination to negotiate further,” Croucamp explained in a statement.
Meanwhile, Solidarity said it received a retrenchment notice from the Macsteel Group stating that it intends to reduce its workforce by around 310 people.
Croucamp noted that the ongoing crisis in the wage negotiations could lead to even more retrenchments.
“Urgent action is called for to ensure that as many jobs as possible are retained in the industry. We are afraid that a prolonged strike would have the opposite effect,” he said.