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Labour Court rules in Numsa’s favour over Macsteel strike

Numsa members were on strike at the steel company since May, accusing management of reducing workers’ salaries by 20% without consulting them.

FILE: Numsa's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola. Picture: @phakxx/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Wednesday claimed victory in a COVID-19 related labour matter after the Labour Court dismissed an urgent application launched by Macsteel to stop their strike.

Numsa members were on strike at the steel company since May, accusing management of reducing workers’ salaries by 20% without consulting them.

The company was operating with 50% its usual staff since the national lockdown and argued that the salary reduction was necessary due to the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

“This tactic was used to frustrate and undermine the strike. Macsteel has been operating at 50% capacity since the lockdown. It argued in court that the salary reductions were necessary given the severe impact that the COVID-19 lockdown has had on its revenue, and therefore, it took a decision to cut salaries for the months of May, June, and July without the workers agreeing to this,” said Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.