Solidarity says it had hoped that second round retrenchment meetings from ArcelorMittal would provide greater clarity on the huge number of retrenchments it may be facing.

However, according to Solidarity Deputy General Secretary Marius Croucamp, the ArcelorMittal meeting did not bear any fruit.

“We are not satisfied with ArcelorMittal’s feedback on the reason why so many jobs may be affected,” Croucamp said.

Croucamp said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) did not show up for the retrenchment meeting.

This came after Solidarity had invited the DTI on 6 August to attend the retrenchment meeting to hear firsthand about the challenges ArcelorMittal is facing.

“It is disappointing that the DTI did not show up; nor did we receive any feedback from the department regarding our invitation to attend the meeting,” Croucamp said.

Croucamp added that ArcelorMittal has indicated that up to 2 000 jobs could be affected by this process.

“We believe that the department’s intervention is crucial to prevent retrenchments at this steel giant, and to prevent future retrenchments in the greater steel and manufacturing industry,” Croucamp said.

According to Croucamp, ArcelorMittal’s reasons for the retrenchments do not hold water, and Solidarity has requested ArcelorMittal management to conduct a full impact study and to provide thorough feedback at the next meeting regarding the reasons why almost 2 000 jobs are affected.

“We strongly believe that no employees should be affected by the process.”

Solidarity already gave its Research Institute instruction to conduct an independent impact study to investigate the challenges faced by the broader steel and manufacturing industry.

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