DURBAN - Durban could lose the headquarters of general merchandise retailer Game to Johannesburg, a move that could affect hundreds of staff members in the region.
Massmart Holdings Limited spokesperson Annaleigh Vallie confirmed that the move was eminent with Game management currently holding discussions with staff based at the retailer’s head office in Durban.
“It is, however, important to note that no decision on the move has been finalised,” said Vallie.
Massmart owns the South African local brands such as Game, Makro, Builder’s Warehouse, CBW and many others. It has four divisions, which are Massdiscounters to which Game falls, Masswarehouse, Massbuild and Masscash.
Walmart purchased a majority of shares in Massmart in 2011.
“The discussions are at a very early stage and currently involve consulting with approximately 330 potentially affected staff in order to ensure their input into the decision making process. From a legal perspective discussions of this nature typically take place within the framework of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.”
Vallie said currently no retrenchments were taking place in the region.
The company was of the view that if the potential move would take place, Game would benefit from being geographically closer to suppliers, Massmart and other group operating divisions.
Vallie said: “This in turn has potential to enhance commercial decision making and, group-wide collaboration and leverage.”
South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) Kwa-Zulu Natal regional secretary Mathews Ndlovu said on Monday that the union was not surprised by the move. “Our objective is to try and make sure that there is no jobs lost in the process. We cannot stop the company from re-locating as part of their business restructuring,” said Ndlovu.
He said that if the staff members agreed to go to Johannesburg, they should receive relocation allowances and fees. “These things are on the table and have not been completed yet. As for those who are not willing to relocate must be accommodated in the perimeters of the province with same benefits which are not less favourable to what they are currently getting.”
- BUSINESS REPORT