Retrenchment trend all about profits

ILO says retrenchment drives at top SA firms are a ruthless bid to save profits.

Food giant Pioneer Foods is expected to retrench 10 percent of its more than 1,200 senior management.

CAPE TOWN - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says current retrenchment drives at several top South African companies are a ruthless bid to save profits.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has confirmed a number of firms are downsizing and dismissing staff from the top down.

Labour analysts say these companies are battling with shrinking margins and cutting wages is the easiest way to save money.

The labour organisation's Vic Van Vuuren says company bosses aren't looking at other solutions.

"We are rushing into retrenching people too quickly without looking at viable alternatives. What we have now in our current markets is a humanitarian crisis. I think there are far different ways of dealing with it than a quick accounting and clinical way of just retrenching people."

Over the past few months retail giant Pick 'n Pay has shed about 400 jobs at its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices while Pioneer Foods is expected to sack more than 1,000 employees.