Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has received a notice of retrenchment from General Motors following the company’s announcement that it is pulling out of the country.

"Last week GM announced that it would be disinvesting from SA and that it sold its local operations to Isuzu," Numsa said in a statement late on Monday.

The union added: "The management of General Motors met with Numsa on Monday as part of consultation and it confirmed that it is winding down manufacturing operations locally."

GM issued a retrenchment notice to the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in terms of section 189 and section 189A of the Labour Relations Act.

"The company has confirmed that out of a total workforce of 1,500 people‚ close to 600 workers are to be retrenched by July 2017," Numsa said. "In reality this is more likely to lead to over 1,000 job losses in the sector‚ particularly as the closure of GM will impact negatively on companies along the value chain."

Numsa said it was concerned about the effect of the job losses on workers and their families.

Last week‚ GMSA said it would be pulling out its investment in SA‚ sending shock waves through the sector.

There are fears that the disinvestment will affect many other businesses in the supply value chain and even public sector development.

"We have a crisis with over 35% of the labour force being unemployed. It is unlikely that workers will be able to find employment after retrenchment. The majority of workers in this country support extended family so the job losses will have a devastating impact on the community. Furthermore, this decision is likely to have a negative impact on the local economy‚" Numsa said.

The union has called a general meeting in which it will discuss the retrenchment in detail with workers.

TMG Digital

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