News24 reported that National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has called off its members strike at Macsteel after the steel producing company agreed to try to redeploy workers that were due to be retrenched. NUMSA said “Macsteel has agreed to try to place retrenched workers into vacant positions within the firm before the end of February 2021. Macsteel also agreed to ensure that those workers, where reasonably possible, do not earn less than what they earned before retrenchment. The union members accepted the terms of Macsteel's settlement proposal and agreed to end the strike.”
NUMSA said the agreement allows it to nominate two individuals to actively participate in the placement process. The employment date of retrenched workers who are successfully placed into vacant positions will be backdated to 1 January 2021. But they will retain all monies paid to them, including the severance pay when they were retrenched. NUMSA said "We have also secured in the agreement that all employees who participated in the strike will be paid their wages and benefits in full, even if they downed tools during that period. Therefore, the 'no work, no pay' principle does not apply.”
Macsteel welcomed the return to work of its employees this morning as the impasse between unionised and non unionised workers is resolved. It said “The company reached a mutual consensus with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. Macsteel regrets the need for these retrenchments but remains committed to adapting to changing economic conditions and protecting remaining jobs.”
Macsteel had first announced its intentions to retrench 99 workers in June last year, blaming it on worsening economic conditions which forced it to adapt in order to remain viable and sustainable.