German-owned carmaker Mercedes-Benz SA (MBSA) expects to retrench up to 700 employees at its East London assembly plant in response to falling global demand for its C-Class sedan car range. The company will adjust production from three daily shifts to two, possibly as early as August.

In a statement on Thursday, MBSA said it had begun consultations with employees and unions “in accordance with section 189(3) of the Labour Relations Act”. The process, lasting up to 60 days, will include discussions to reduce manpower through early retirement, early severance and natural attrition...

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