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ArcelorMittal South Africa in talks to save thousands of jobs

VEREENIGING - ArcelorMittal South Africa on Monday said they will engage with government and unions to try and stop the closure of its long steel business operations. In late November the steel giant said that it planned to shut down operations and cut up to 3,500 jobs at its Newcastle and Vereeniging works due to a lack of demand and infrastructure issues, including load shedding. The company said that over the last seven years, demand for its steel products fell by 20%. IOL reports that in a trading update on Monday, the steel giant said that government, its customers and labour unions have expressed concern over the closure and that consultations to avert the closure had been constructive and are ongoing. The company went on to say that "finding solutions to the structural shortcomings is complex". It said reversing the closure decision holds substantial risks and requires the commitment of, at a minimum, the company, its customers and suppliers, the government, state-owned enterprises and their employees. However, AMSA reiterated that it did not need any preferential treatment or subsidies, saying it “required government to ensure that a level playing field exists for South Africa's primary steel producers, by addressing the structural constraints affecting the steel industry”.

PHOTO: (Supplied)

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