Numsa faces retrenchment crunch in the motor retail sector (November 7, 2008 – 7:40 PM)

The global economic meltdown has seen retail vehicle sector employers spitting blood as more than 100 car dealers announced that they are closing down threatening retrenchment to thousands of metalworkers. 

Even ongoing talks between National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and employers under the auspices of the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (Mibco) to urgently adopt social plan strategies to cushion anticipated job lay offs appear to have been overtaken by the effects of the current financial crisis.

Out of a total of 70 000 employees in the car retail sector thousands are expected to lose jobs as the job bloodbath is threatening metalworkers in the motor

General Motors of South Africa (GMSA) has threatened to cut down 2 000 before the end of the year, while Ford is retrenching about 800 in its Port Elizabeth based engine plant and Pretoria, Volkswagen plant in Uitenhage has implemented everlasting short time since early this year.

The global economic recession has a ripple effect as employers in the car component manufacturing sector also threatened restructuring due to the current economic recession wave.

And both departments of trade and industry and labour are expected to intervene if political and economic stability is to be attained.

While Numsa is mobilizing to fight these unbridled retrenchment threats to the bitterest end with general strikes and major protests, we will engage fruitfully with employers committed to find a solution through adopting social plans and initiate other creative options available.

“It is not enough for the employers association to express commitment to finding a solution through social plan, but plead poverty at the same time when real action has to be taken,” Elias Kubheka Numsa motor sector national co-ordinator said.

Employers kept quite all along when business remained profitably and claim to have no money to retrain employees when they realized that the economic recession is to hit home, he said.

The industry employers refused to give guaranteed increases when business was at its best at the central bargaining level in order to raise the minimum wage increase of 7,5% windswept as a result of the 13,5 % consumer inflation rate surges.

Numsa, over the weekend will hold meetings with local and regional shop steward councils to consider other forms of solidarity actions to be taken if employers response to constructive negotiations against retrenchments was negative. 

For further information contact:

Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson

Cell phone: 082 9407116



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