Today's Labour News

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arcelormittalBL Premium reports that ArcelorMittal SA (Amsa) has deferred the mothballing of its long steel units at Newcastle and Vereeniging for up to six months, saying commitments by the government and Transnet have bought the operations some time.

The decision brings brief relief to employees at SA’s biggest steel producer, where about 3,500 jobs were on the line. However, Amsa said progress with agreed steps would determine the future of that business, as the group would be reviewing the deferral weekly. Amsa CEO Kobus Verster said on Thursday that engagements with stakeholders — including the department of trade, industry & competition, Transnet executives, numerous steel industry bodies, organised labour, affected suppliers, customers and community forums — had resulted in some urgent short-, medium- and long-term initiatives being identified to save the operations. The short-term initiatives include port and rail service improvements, which have been agreed on with the Transnet leadership alongside engagement with the government after the expiry of the steel scrap export ban in December. Long steel products include rebar, wire rods, merchant bars, rails and sections. At the end of November, Amsa sent shock waves through the economies of Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal and Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng when it announced it might close its long-products business, which could result in the loss of 3,500 direct and contractor jobs at its Newcastle and Vereeniging operations.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Michelle Gumede at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)
  • Read too, ArcelorMittal defers shutdown of Newcastle, Vereeniging steel mills after Transnet promises, at Fin24
  • And also, Amsa sees plausible pathway for salvaging longs unit, but ready to reverse closure deferral if urgent progress is not made, at Engineering News

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page