This festive season, 336 people are joining the ranks of those anxious about what lies ahead for them next year. In what has been described as a body blow to footwear manufacturing in Cape Town, Green Cross staff were informed last month that the local manufacturing operation will be closed. Green Cross MD Roger Coppin announced in an e-mail to staff that the footwear company had made an in-principle decision "to import all products for re-sale through its retail operations and to wholesale customers". The shoes will be imported from the East and Europe for Green Cross outlets. Bernadette Brown, who has worked for Green Cross for eight years and is a shop steward of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu), said: "This news was a shock. People are traumatised and very upset. Our livelihoods are going down the drain." Of the 336 jobs set to be lost, 249 are those of factory workers, some of whom have worked there for more than 20 years. The company employs 643...

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