'We will pay you not to strike'

Several workers at the Assmang smelter in Cato Ridge have been offered about R500 a shift to ignore the Cosatu-led national stayaway today .

Several workers at the Assmang smelter in Cato Ridge have been offered about R500 a shift to ignore the Cosatu-led national stayaway today .

Assmang confirmed that its managers had spoken to representatives of the National Union of Metalworkers and the National Union of Mineworkers about "incentivising" critical staff to work today - to keep some furnaces running.

"The plant will not be operating at full capacity and non-critical staff will in fact be encouraged to participate in the stayaway," a spokesman said.

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business reacted with shock to Assmang's move.

"I have not heard of such a move before," the Durban Chamber's Denise Chendip said.

"But I suppose this is indicative of the slowing state of the economy that companies are now taking drastic steps . to stave off massive potential losses." - Sapa

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