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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU condemns Pick n Pay retrenchments

7 July 2011

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is shocked by Pick n Pay’s announcement on 6 July 2011that it is contemplating the retrenchment of around 3137 workers in terms of Section 189A and 189 (3) of the Labour Relations Act, “due to operational requirements at the company within the non-management bargaining unit”.

COSATU will back any action that our affiliate SACCAWU takes to save all these jobs. We cannot afford to lose still more jobs at a time when unemployment is still a national crisis.

Pick n Pay Operations Director Neal Quirk says that this decision is in line with the major problem facing the Company in respect of declining profitability and the loss of market share.

COSATU believes however that the move is a response to the threat posed by the takeover of Massmart stores by the union-bashing multilateral, Walmart. We predicted that this would lead to retrenchments in other retail companies, as they struggle to compete with this global giant in the retail sector, and Pick n Pay is proving us to have been right.

This attack on jobs at will strengthen our determination to stop the Walmart invasion, which threatens jobs not only in Massmart stores, but in other retailers like Pick n Pay, and in South African manufacturing industry, as Walmart uses its domination of the market to procure goods from all over the world, regardless of the conditions under which workers produce them.

COSATU is taking forward its application under Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act and stands ready to mobilise its members in action in defence of jobs and trade union rights.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080 / 6940
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E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za