Port Elizabeth - Metalworkers union Numsa has called for a general meeting with workers on Tuesday to address the looming job losses at General Motors in Port Elizabeth.
This comes after Numsa met General Motors on Monday as part of consultation where the car manufacturer confirmed that it was winding down manufacturing operations locally.
Last week, General Motors announced that it would be disinvesting from South Africa and that it sold its local operations to Isuzu. As a result, production and sales of all Chevrolet models will cease, and Isuzu will take over the firm’s operations in Port Elizabeth from January 2018 because it will be manufacturing trucks and commercial vehicles.
General Motors has since issued a notice of retrenchment to the CCMA in terms of section 189 and section 189A of the Labour Relations Act.
The company has also confirmed that out of a total workforce of 1500 people, close to 600 workers are to be retrenched by July. In response, Numsa said the move was more likely to lead to more than a thousand job losses in the sector, particularly as the closure of General Motors would negatively impact companies along the value chain.
"Numsa is concerned about the impact these job losses will have on workers and their families. We have a crisis with over 35 percent of the labour force being unemployed. It is unlikely that workers will be able to find employment after retrenchment," said the union. "The majority of workers in this country support extended family so the job losses will have a devastating impact on the community. Furthermore this decision is likely to have a negative impact on the local economy."
The general meeting in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, would be addressed by Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim, as well as the the union's national treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo.
Numsa said the general meeting is for all workers at General Motors as well as those employed in companies related in the value chain, and was an opportunity for them to discuss these issues in detail and try to map a way forward.
African News Agency (ANA)