Over 45 000 SA jobs under fire, says union
Matthew le Cordeur
Cape Town – Employees in the mining, telecommunications and metal industries have been affected the most in 2015 as 58 companies cut at least 45 000 jobs, according to trade union Solidarity’s report on the retrenchment crisis released on Tuesday.
A further 160 other companies where Solidarity members are employed are undergoing similar processes, it revealed.
Local employee confidence is at the lowest level it has been since the Solidarity Research Institute started with surveys in the first quarter of 2013, while job security has weakened over the last four years, it explained.
Solidarity said it handled 80% more retrenchment-related enquiries in June and July 2015 compared to the same period last year and said there were 15% more member enquiries and requests for advice and litigation compared to the same period in 2014.
“The mining sector represents the biggest danger for the labour market measured by the possible impact on workers,” the union said in its report.
“The telecommunications industry and the steel and metal industry are further important role players where retrenchments are concerned. A number of government institutions and parastatals, such as Telkom (almost 9 000 jobs), the South African Post Office (over 5 000 jobs), SAA, Eskom and PetroSA proportionally play a large part in the obvious retrenchment crisis.”
Solidarity deputy head Johan Kruger said in a statement that the crisis is stretching far beyond extensive reductions in a few large companies such as Telkom and Lonmin.
“As a trade union, we daily receive enquiries from members at smaller companies that are embarking upon retrenchments on a less extensive scale,” he said. “When taking all these factors into account, one realises the true extent of the crisis.”