The job losses and economic consequences of pandemic restrictions would be dire with the second wave not yet having peaked, the United Association South Africa trade union said yesterday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
The job losses and economic consequences of pandemic restrictions would be dire with the second wave not yet having peaked, the United Association South Africa trade union said yesterday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Unions seek moratorium on all retrenchments

By Edward West Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - THE job losses and economic consequences of pandemic restrictions would be dire with the second wave not yet having peaked, the United Association South Africa (Uasa) trade union said yesterday.

Uasa spokesperson Stanford Mazhindu said in a statement they supported Federation of Unions of South Africa’s (Fedusa’s) call for a moratorium on retrenchments amid the unchanged level 3 restrictions, as announced by the government this week.

Uasa is affiliated to Fedusa, and most of the sectors represented by Uasa are negatively affected by the restrictions, Mazhindu said they welcomed the extended level 3 restrictions as a tool to curb the spread of the virus, but they were concerned about the effect on the tourism, personal care, entertainment and hospitality sectors.

Last year, hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost due to the pandemic: 2.2 million in the second quarter, followed by 616 000 in the third quarter year-on-year.

He said all possible avenues needed to be considered, “instead of continuously using workers as scapegoats.” Fedusa said Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget speech in February 2021 was not expected to bring about any financial relief for workers.

“The SA Reserve Bank needs to apply the same amount of conviction in 2021 to continue to catalyse the soft-landing, stability and liquidity to assist workers entrapped in debt due to the lockdown. SARB needs to continue on this trajectory.”

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