A wave of retrenchments is currently flooding the South African economy. It is well known that thousands of posts at a number of large companies are involved, e.g. 9 000 at Telkom; 4 500 at Lonmin; 1 200 at ArcelorMittal, but unfortunately, the crisis goes deeper. Although accurate and comprehensive numbers cannot be determined, this concise report indicates, based on the information available, that the current gust of retrenchments is reaching crisis dimensions.The most important findings in this concise report are:
- From media reports and members’ feedback, Solidarity is currently aware of retrenchments at 220 employers.
- From media reports alone, it seems that more than 45 000 positions have already been involved in staff decreasing processes this year.
- Local employee trust is at the lowest level it has been since the Solidarity Research Institute started with surveys in the first quarter of 2013.
- Job security in South Africa has weakened over the last four years.
- Solidarity handled 80% more retrenchment-related enquiries of members in June and July 2015 compared to the same period last year.
- Year to date, 15% more enquiries and requests for advice and litigation have been referred to Solidarity’s Legal Services 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 telecommunications industry and the steel and metal industry are further important role players where retrenchments are concerned. A number of government institutions and parastatals, like Telkom, the South African Postal Office, SAA, Eskom and PetroSA play proportionally a large part in the obvious retrenchment crisis.
Solidarity is its members’ ally in the workplace and protects its members against exploitation. Solidarity also seeks to create job security for professionals. Solidarity also ensures that its members receive the necessary assistance to protect their jobs and thus their income. Therefore, Solidarity will assist its members during this retrenchment crisis as well.
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Media and feedback:
Retrenchment Crisis – Solidariteit Wêreld
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