Strike threat over retrenchments

Unwarranted retrenchments using the global economic crisis as an excuse will spark strike action, Cosatu warned.

Unwarranted retrenchments using the global economic crisis as an excuse will spark strike action, Cosatu warned.

While it recognised the link between the current scale of the "job loss bloodbath" and the international economic meltdown, Cosatu felt some employers were merely trying to maximise profits.

"But at the same time we are worried, as we state in the resolution, that some companies are opportunistically jumping onto the bandwagon," Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday following its central executive committee meeting.

"We will have to look very carefully at how we can target those employers that we believe are not just scaling down on employment on the basis of the impact of the international crisis, but do so for reasons of maximising profits.

"Clearly the mining industry and the gold mining industry has no reason to make announcements that they are scaling down their jobs. The price of gold is stable and what would be the reason for them to join the auto sector, which is facing a difficulty?" he asked.

Vavi said all affiliated unions should "fight relentlessly, using every means at their disposal, to resist job losses".

NUM, a Cosatu affiliate, estimated that between 20000 and 50000 jobs may be lost in the mining industry. - Sapa

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