Solidarity blames economic policy for 'retrenchment bloodbath'
Durban - Trade union Solidarity said on Monday that government's economic policy was responsible for the "retrenchment bloodbath" in South Africa's manufacturing sector.
The union's deputy general secretary for mining and engineering, Willie Venter, said government needed to urgently re-evaluate its existing economic policies that suppressed the manufacturing industry, in order to avert job losses.
“Although companies cite the many challenges experienced in local and international markets as reasons for retrenchments, they also consistently argue that more competitive electricity and transport tariffs are needed to be able to compete with international competitors.
"The government makes it impossible for companies to compete internationally because of its role in increased productions costs, the erratic electricity supply and increases in electricity tariffs, which are the main reasons for the retrenchments,” said Venter.
He said that following a "disastrous" 2019 in the manufacturing industry - during which more than 7 000 retrenchments took place - the "retrenchment bloodbath" continued with Samancor Chrome and Glencore Alloys both announcing on January 17 that they would be laying off 600 and 665 employees respectively.
Solidarity would assist its members during the retrenchment process, he said.
“The government must take note of the umpteenth indicator that the contraction of the manufacturing industry is continuing, and that an urgent re-evaluation of the existing economic policy is needed to prevent further job losses,” Venter warned.
Consultation dates with Samancor and Glencor were yet to be confirmed.
African News Agency (ANA)