400 jobs in balance as ArcelorMittal reviews operations
Cape Town – ArcelorMittal SA announced on Monday that it would begin consultations on the potential closure of its Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging works.
“The possible closure will affect approximately 400 direct employees and contract service employees,” ArcelorMittal said in a Sens statement.
The company is currently deciding whether to “mothball” some of its plants and potentially place others “under care and maintenance”.
In July City Press reported that ArcelorMittal CEO Paul O’Flaherty was in talks with government to provide “wide-ranging protection against Chinese competition”.
Official trade statistics put the steel and iron imports from China at about 240 000 tonnes in the first five months of 2014.
For the same period in 2015 SA’s imports from China more than doubled to 489 000 tonnes.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the steps taken by Government with regards to the initial approvals of import tariffs for two of our products,” ArcelorMittal said.
The company said, however, that the tariffs “will only assist in the medium to long-term and trading conditions continue to worsen since the announcement in July of the footprint study of our long steel business”.
The company announced on July 23 2015 that it would engage “with its stakeholders, including organised labour and undertake an industrial footprint review of its Vereeniging works”.
“At the same time, like Vereeniging, the Vanderbijlpark works continues to be unprofitable in the face of the current market conditions,” said ArcelorMittal.