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Johannesburg - The South African Communist Party (SACP) came out in support of workers at General Motors South Africa (GMSA) and its supply chain on Wednesday, denouncing the dis-investing company for allegedly acting unilaterally and in bad faith towards the labour movement.

"The SACP expresses its message of solidarity with the workers employed at GMSA and its supply chain who are facing an uncertain future as a result of the GM's global headquarters decision to close production operations in South Africa," the party said in a statement.

"The SACP denounces with contempt GM's unilateral and bad faith conduct towards workers and the labour movement in South Africa. More than ever, unions at GMSA and its supply chain need to set all their differences aside and unite for the greater good of the workers. Last week, GM announced that it was disinvesting from South Africa and that it had 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. Isuzu will also be taking over the parts centre because it will be manufacturing trucks and commercial vehicles. Since that announcement, GM has filed a notice to retrench about 600 workers out of 1,500 workforce.

The SACP said the decision by GM had everything to do with profit maximisation and the aftermath of the international capitalist crisis rather than the loss of confidence in South Africa's investment environment. "Due to a combination of factors including plummeting sales as a result of the crisis, GM has faced impending bankruptcy. Among others the United States government has pumped $50 billion in a bailout intervention to GM, on the condition of an intensified, aggressive restructuring on a global scale," SACP said.

"Clearly GM’s restructuring agenda has not ended. As the Department of Trade and Industry indicated on 18 May, GM exited Australia in 2013 where it had a joint venture with Holden and closed its plant in Indonesia in 2015. In 2017 GM was, at the outset, engaged in pulling out of Europe with the Opel/Vauxhall brand sold to Peugeot and closing its plant in Halol, India."

The SACP then called for maximum unity in the ranks of organised labour and organising the unorganised in the imminent battle against retrenchments and adverse restructuring.