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Congress of South African Trade Unions call for steel talks with China

Steel News - Published on Wed, 26 Aug 2015

Image Source: marxist
ANA reported that the Congress of South African Trade Umions has called on government to meet with China over falling steel prices exacerbated by its cheaper steel exports.

Cosatu acting secretary Mr Bheki Ntshalintshali said “We call on government to engage the Chinese government to introduce voluntary export restraint; a measure that was introduced in the clothing and textiles industry in the early 2000s.”

He said “It is Cosatu's view though that the raising of the import tariff and introduction of voluntary export restraint, while they would ensure a temporary reprieve for the steel industry, do not constitute strong enough measures aimed at changing the structure of the economy.”

Mr Ntshalitshali said his organisation had been calling for import parity pricing to be abandoned, especially in the troubled steel industry. He said “Steel is a critical input in the infrastructure development programme. Cosatu wants a clear commitment from the steel industry that it would abandon import parity pricing and it will not revert to it when the economic conditions have improve. This should be one of the conditions for government interventions to save the steel industry.”

Mr Cosatu supported the call by the industry to government to increase import tariffs to save the industry and jobs. He said “The problems are exacerbated by cheap steel imports from China in particular. Cosatu is concerned that the slowing down of production in the mining sector, because of the low commodity prices, will further cause more harm to jobs as mines are a big consumer of steel products in the economy.”

The trade union federation also demanded that a moratorium be placed on looming retrenchments, that a commitment be made to cut executives' salaries in the industry and that ''billions in surplus funds'' in the Unemployment Insurance Fund be used to bail out companies in distress.

Source :

Posted By : Robichandra Sanasam on Wed, 26 Aug 2015
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