The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has embarked on a strike at the steel supplier, Macsteel.

Numsa says the management of Macsteel has made unilateral changes by reducing the salaries of employees by 20% with effect from this month and will continue to do so for at least two months.

The union says the company has cited the effects of the coronavirus.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says the company has failed to make an application to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Employee Relief Scheme so that workers can get help.

Hlubi-Majola says management has applied for an urgent interdict in an attempt to block the strike.

She says, “This is completely unreasonable, it demonstrates what our members are angry about, this is management that doesn’t care about workers, but would rather take money that could be used to resolve this.”

Macsteel’s management could not be immediately reached for comment.

Exploitation of workers

Last month, Numsa accused the National Employers Association of South Africa of exploiting workers during the national lockdown.

Numsa said employers should not shift the burden of the lockdown onto the workers.

The union was demanding that employers should not force workers to take paid leave from their annual leave because the National Disaster declared by government is not the fault of the workers.

Numsa said workers should be paid in full during the lockdown period.

In the video below, last month, Numsa said that they are shocked and dismayed at the announcement by Comair that it is placing the airline under business rescue:

INFOGRAPHIC: SA’s stimulus package:

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