NEWS & ANALYSIS

Workers facing wave of retrenchments - UASA

Andre Venter says Telkom's plan to shed 7 800 employees bad news, employment in gold sector projected to halve over next decade

SA Workers are demanding accountability and a better deal than losing jobs!

10 June 2015

Telkom's announcement that it intends to add 7 800 employees to the thousands of South Africans who have already lost their jobs or are currently facing retrenchments is devastating news for workers and their families.  

Workers are losing their jobs by the thousands while there is no plan to get South Africa out of the vortex that is pulling us all down. 

The Chamber of Mines recently suggested that, in the gold sector alone, employment could drop by 43 percent over the next ten years, halving gold mining sector employment to 68 000, if existing negative trends continue. 

That’s on top of 35 000 retrenchments which have already taken place in the mining sector since 2012. While numbers are yet to be confirmed in the platinum industry, companies are threatening to retrench thousands of workers. Currently, 31 percent of companies in the gold industry and 45 percent of platinum companies, are loss making. As a result, at least three companies across the mining industry are already engaged in consultations around retrenching. 

It’s all about unemployment, poor growth figures of around 1.3 % in GDP, corruption and golden handshakes.  

The National Development Plan (NDP) has been reduced to nothing more than a tool in the hands of political spin doctors. On the face of it, nothing is being done to implement the NDP, but highly paid spin doctors are quick to quote this wonderful plan that is going to lead us to the promised land. 

Enough is enough. Why should workers suffer as a result of a lack of leadership and intransigence? We deserve better.  

UASA calls on all unions and federations to unite and demand accountability from government and employers. We are working hard to keep this economy going and we deserve a better deal than to lose our jobs. 

About UASA: 

UASA is one of several unions affiliated to the Federation of Trade Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) which represents approximately 500 000 members at the macro level. 

UASA is registered at the Department of Labour as a trade union in accordance with the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 as amended in 2002. 

UASA is one of South Africa's oldest trade unions with a rich labour history dating back to 1894. The main objective of the Union is to look after the interest of its members and to foster a spirit of unison among workers in general. Our organisation has been formed by the workers, for the workers, to represent their rights and interests in the workplace and to improve working conditions and wages.   

UASA represents close to 73 000 working South Africans across the spectrum of job categories.  

UASA also plays an important role in the international labour arena, joining hands with various international federations that promote global solidarity among workers of the world in their struggle against the negative effects of globalisation. Through its affiliation with ITF and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), UASA has active representation at various international forums. 

Statement by Andre Venter, spokesperson of UASA, June 110 2015