Government must halt retrenchments during lockdown
By Stanford Mazhindu
The United Association SA (Uasa) union is in full support of the Federation of Unions of South Africa’s (Fedusa) call for a moratorium on retrenchments amid the unchanged level 3 restrictions as announced by the government this week.
Uasa is affiliated to the federation and most of the sectors represented which are negatively affected by the restrictions.
While Uasa welcomes the extended level 3 restrictions as a tool to curb the spread of the coronavirus, we are concerned about the effect on the tourism, personal care, entertainment and hospitality sectors that are reeling from levels 4 and 5, and the further poverty and hardship it will bring to the desperate unemployed and poor workers. With the peak of the second wave not yet reached, the resulting job losses and economic consequences will be dire.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost due to the pandemic. We support Fedusa’s call for a moratorium on retrenchments and future potential processes, as we believe that all possible avenues must be considered instead of continuously using workers as scapegoats.
Uasa is also in full support of Fedusa’s call for the government to show “decisiveness in its effectivity and efficiency as a capable state by demonstrating and implementing collaborative, uninterrupted, unconstrained and theft-proof measures to roll out the vaccine. Collectively with its social partners, the government must lead the country from a crisis to construction and eventual economic conversion, in order to restore the dignity of workers and employers who have been left financially paralysed by the pandemic”.
Stanford Mazhindu is from the The United Association SA.