KazTAG reports citing Director General of ArcelorMittal Temirtau Vijay Mahadevan as saying.
"The requests are correct but it is not the right time. We have to wait until there is some stabilization at the market and we would be happy to raise the salaries then," Mahadevan told the journalists upon completion of the warning strike at metallurgical facilities on June 29.
Head of the company stated that administration could not meet the demands for a 30-percent wages increase. "We are currently not ready to offer more than a 10-persent pay rise," he explained.
According to Mahadevan, the situation at the metallurgical market is not favorable. "The situation at the market changed in 2008. What we have been seeing since last September-November is the second wave of the economic crisis. We are currently in the survival mode. The situation is deteriorating every day. As soon as we see some stabilization, we will be ready to consider a salaries raise," head of the company said.
He also stressed that the administration was braced for a continuous strike. Mahadevan did not mention whether the 3-hour strike caused losses for the company. "The campaign did not have any effect on a continuous production processes," Director General said.
The warning strike took place at the metallurgical facility of ArcelorMittal Temirtau on Friday, June 29, between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. "This is the first time this kind of protest is held in Kazakhstan metallurgical sector. I think that the warning strike went well, as we managed to get Director General to talk to people," chairman of Zhaktau trade union Vladimir Dubin told the journalists.
According to him, over 3 thousand people participated in the 3-hour campaign. The strike commission will probably start negotiations with the facility's administration. The strike commission included 15 people. Zhaktau trade union and the company's employees insist on the pay rise of 30 percent. Besides, the employees' request is related to the annual indexation and solution of personnel deficit problem. The strike was supported by 11 thousand employees of the steel department of ArcelorMittal Temirtau, which is over 50 percent of the company's personnel.
"If we don't find a common language, the law gives us 3 days to continue the strike. It will be a continuous strike then," he stressed.
The miners accepted the company administration's suggestion of 10-percent salary raise some time ago. According to ArcelorMittal Temirtay, the agreement with Korgau trade union was signed on June 19.
According to the company the average salary made 114,345 tenge ($778) in 2011 (+12.6 percent vs 2010) in the steel department of ArcelorMittal Temirtau and 134,610 tenge ($916) in the coal department (+12.3 percent vs 2010).
ArcelorMittal Temirtau is a part of transnational company ArcelorMittal and is one of the major companies of mining and metallurgical sector in Kazakhstan. It includes a metallurgical complex in Temirtau, 8 coal mines in Karaganda oblasts, 4 iron mines in Karaganda, Akmol and Kostanai Oblasts. The company has the personnel of around 39.5 thousand people.