Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

neasaEngineering News reports that according to National Employer Association of SA (Neasa) CE Gerhard Papenfus, the downstream steel industry cannot be the “saving grace” of struggling steel producer ArcelorMittal SA (Amsa).  

It was reported this month that Amsa would be undertaking an orderly and commercial wind-down of steel operations at its Saldanha Works, with the intent to place the operation on care and maintenance.  While Papenfus lamented the situation, referring to protectionist duties on steel imports he noted that government would have to choose between protecting an unprofitable Amsa employing 9,000 employees, or breaking the “stranglehold” that such duties had on the downstream steel industry, which operated across many sectors and employed more than 500,000 people.  Papenfus emphasised that the protection of Amsa by means of import duties, which was impacting on downstream manufacturing, had to come to an end.  “It cannot be expected of downstream manufacturing to be the casualty of Amsa’s salvation,” he opined.  Papenfus postulated that SA needed to start preparing for the post-Amsa dispensation.  He argued that in such a situation, the steel industry would have the privilege of accessing high-quality, cost-effective raw materials that would enhance competitiveness, resulting in SA manufacturers gaining market share, especially in the export market.  Trade union Solidarity, meanwhile, said in a statement earlier this month, that it would be addressing a letter to government and to Amsa after having instructed its Research Institute to conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of the closure of the Saldanha Works.


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page