Court halts Continental retrenchments

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Johannesburg - A notice of retrenchment sent by Continental Tyres to its employees was set aside on Thursday in the Port Elizabeth Labour Court.

“At this stage our members and non-members' jobs are safe,” trade union Solidarity spokesman Johan Kruger said.

The union applied for the interdict as they believed that Continental Tyres “did not act procedurally correct in their retrenchment processes”, said Kruger.

He was referring to an agreement signed between the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Continental Tyres in May, relating to changes in the company's shift system.

The agreement stipulated that employees who worked only on Saturdays and Sundays in a pattern of five shifts would only be eligible to be paid one-and-a-half times the normal wage on a Saturday and double the normal wage on a Sunday.

According to Kruger the changes to the company's shift system would have resulted in 125 employees being retrenched, and employees would have to work two out of every four weekends.

Kruger said the Labour Court directed Continental Tyres to comply with a fair procedure in retrenching its staff as set out by the law.

“We are very happy, this is a relief for workers and minority trade unions. This is a victory for us, we hope this sends a message to other employers that the law should be followed,” he said.


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