Briefs: Retrenchments

Iscor:South Africa ‘ largest steel division Iscor is the latest company to use the strong rand as an excuse for mass retrenchments of 1 600 direct production workers. The company is preparing to axe a further 2000 staff members by December 2003.

By blaming their woes on the strong rand they are avoiding dealing with structural problems, poor management, environmental pollution and lawsuit troubles. Numsa has declared war on Iscor with protest actions at all Iscor premises starting on November 19. These will be followed by sympathy protest actions at all ten secondary steel users.

HE Engineering:Despite having a facilitator to help with the retrenchment negotiations in terms of the new amendments to the Labour Relations Act, Germiston local organiser Maria Bogatha, believes that HE Engineering is doing its best to stall discussions so that the required 60 days will pass, thus allowing them to retrench.

Recently, when the company was ordered to produce their auditor’s financial report, it said their auditor refused to release it until the company paid what it owed them. When Numsa approached the auditor independently, the auditor admitted that the company had told them “not to give any information to the union”.

And while talks continue, workers watch while machines are being removed from the company. Bogatha fears that soon there will be no production, just a big warehouse! The next meeting is set for November 20.