ArcelorMittal shares down 6% on second day of strike

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Macsteel says it is investigating the source of the attack that hit the company late in July and was not made public.
Macsteel says it is investigating the source of the attack that hit the company late in July and was not made public.

ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd's share price was down 5.97% at 17:00 on Thursday on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on the second day of a strike over wages, as workers picketed outside its factories.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) began a strike at Africa's biggest steel company on Wednesday, after wage negotiations broke down last week.

South Africa's labour court on Wednesday ordered that workers at the company's steel plants, blast furnaces and coke batteries be excluded from an ongoing job boycott, after ArcelorMittal argued these are essential services barred from striking by law, NUMSA said.

"Justice Mahosi of the labour court interdicted the strike temporarily but only for workers in the blast furnaces, coke batteries and the steel plant, until a final judgment has been made," Numsa said in a statement.

The union wants a 10% pay increase, a housing allowance and payment of 80% of medical insurance costs, against the company's final offer of a 7% wage increase.

ArcelorMittal was not available to comment.

A Numsa spokesperson said she could not immediately establish how many of union members worked in the departments affected by the court order but said Numsa was the biggest union at ArcelorMittal, with about half of the company's permanent employees affiliated to it.

The company, majority owned by Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA, had 7 133 permanent workers at the end of 2021, its latest annual report showed.

On Thursday, scores of striking workers picketed outside ArcelorMittal's Vereeniging plant about 100 kilometres south of Johannesburg, chanting protest songs, burning tyres and blocking roads with cement blocks and debris as police kept a close watch.

"We want a 10% salary increase, that's why we are standing outside," Marake Mokoena, a crane driver, told Reuters.

"This is because (the price of) everything is increasing, petrol, food and everything, but the company doesn't want to give us that percentage, so we will fight until we get that 10% increase."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot