Today's Labour News

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arcelormittalBL Premium reports that the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition (DTIC) is pushing to increase steel exports to other African countries and root out customs fraud on imported steel in a bid to avoid the closure of ArcelorMittal SA’s (Amsa's) long-steel operations.

Amsa has been on its knees due to subdued steel demand locally, the ongoing logistics crisis, energy instability and cheap Chinese steel imports. The company said in November it had no option but to wind down its Newcastle and Vereeniging long-steel operations, a move that could lead to 3,500 jobs being lost. However, the DTIC is confident it can avoid the closures and indicated that since the announcement of the imminent closure of the long-steel operations, it has been in “extensive” discussions with Amsa to find ways to keep production in the country and avoid closure of the Newcastle factory. Meetings were held in December and January with the company’s global leadership to find solutions and the DTIC also held talks with Transnet to develop a partnership to improve logistics and consider ways of expanding the use of rail for the transportation of steel products. Last Monday Amsa confirmed talks with stakeholders, including DTIC minister Ebrahim Patel, the Industrial Development Corporation, Transnet, suppliers and organised labour. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which represents the majority of workers at the steel operations under threat of closure, confirmed that consultations were under way to try minimise job cuts.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Dineo Faku at Business Times (subscriber access only)

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