South Africa: COVID-19 and Retrenchment Double Whammy for Workers At Arcelormittal in Saldanha


The West Coast town of Saldanha has been hammered by the closure of ArcelorMittal's Saldanha Steel plant, with not just the plant's workers retrenched, but scores of downstream jobs lost as well. And now Covid-19 has struck...

As the country is locked down for 21 days in the fight to contain the spread of Covid-19, the working class and poor are not spared the further effects in an unequal society like ours.

The workers at ArcelorMittal have been battling against unemployment and an inability to fend for themselves and their families throughout the 2019 festive season. More than 50% of the workforce have been sitting at home since the first announcement of the closure and a few are left with less than a week to officially exit the employ of ArcelorMittal SA (AMSA).

It is not only the estimated 1,000 AMSA employees who face retrenchment by the end of March 2020, but almost the same number of workers are facing the same fate. That will make this number rise to 2,000 job losses with the closure of the Saldanha plant.

These are numbers from companies contracted to AMSA, who have also concluded the Section 189 retrenchment processes. They include companies...

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