cosatu eskom

COSATU National Strike 2019 / Image via Twitter: @COSATU Today

Trade unions to meet over reported retrenchments around South Africa

They want to discuss reports of planned retrenchments in the public sector and at some of South Africa’s biggest companies.

cosatu eskom

COSATU National Strike 2019 / Image via Twitter: @COSATU Today

Two of South Africa’s biggest trade union federations, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), will meet to discuss reports of planned retrenchments at some of South Africa’s largest comanpies.

Profitable retrenchments

The last few months have seen reports of the likes of Eskom, PPC, Standard Bank, and Multichoice, among others, all planning to retrench staff in the near future.

This, according to Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla, is in spite of the fact that some of them even posted profits in 2018.

“MultiChoice, for example, made up to R42bn last year so what is happening is that they are maximising profits and we have a government that is unable to tell them anything because it is also implicated and involved in these retrenchments,” he said.

Cosatu embarked on a strike earlier in 2019 to protest private sector retrenchments in order to maximise profits.

“We will be convening a Cosatu campaign meeting to discuss what action we are going to take. Remember we had a strike earlier this year, in February, we tried to get government to sign a moratorium on retrenchments within the private sector,” Pamla said.

“We have agreed to convene all of our affiliated unions and we also plan to meet all other federations to discuss this issue so that when we put together our response it is not just a Cosatu response because when these companies retrench, they don’t ask for your membership card they just send you home despite your affiliation.”

Public sector also guilty

They are concerned that there doesn’t seem to be much oversight with retrenchments in government either, saying it sets a bad example.

“We have companies that are realising that government itself has adopted austerity measures and is retrenching at SOEs and in the public service, and they too can act because no one will tell them to stop retrenching,” he said.

“You need a moratorium that prevents retrenchments from taking place in the public and private sector and we don’t have that you cannot say you want to create more than 200000 jobs per year and you already have 9 million people who are unemployed.”