The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has met with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to help resolve the strike at steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA).
The union said in a statement on Tuesday that it had been unable to reach an accord with the employer, and that it would continue the strike, which started on March 11 and is affecting all of AMSA’s operations, including Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Saldanha and Newcastle.
Numsa claimed that some workers are forced to work even if conditions are dangerous, especially contract workers, because they are worried they will be dismissed.
AMSA depends on contractors to provide the bulk of the workforce. Most of the contractors are brought in by companies such as Real Tree Trading, the union added.
“When we met with [the] CCMA [on Monday], one of the major sticking points was that AMSA refused to insource contract workers. Our demand is that contract workers must be insourced, because they are doing the same work as permanent employees, but they are being paid less, and they receive less benefits.
“[AMSA] stated they will only insource contract workers after three years, but it will result in retrenchments,” Numsa stated.