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Old Mutual layoffs 'cold and calculated'

A former employee says the retrenchment dealt a massive blow to his self-esteem.

A former employee says the retrenchment dealt a massive blow to his self-esteem.

CAPE TOWN - Old Mutual may have retrenched many more people than what it is saying, a former employee told Eyewitness News on Thursday.

The savings and investment company is the latest to embark on retrenchment drive as part of its restructuring process.

Almost 2,000 senior and middle management employees have been laid off from three top South African companies in recent months.

Many more job cuts at various companies are in the pipeline.

The man, who worked at Old Mutual's property division for 30 years, claims he was retrenched in June along with 200 colleagues.

He vehemently disputes the figure of 152 job terminations, saying he believes several hundred people have been axed this year.

He describes the retrenchment process as cold and calculated which dealt a massive blow to his self-esteem.

Old Mutual is verifying the man's claim and has committed to respond.

Meanwhile, a management consultant says retrenchments have a negative effect on the productivity of staff members who stay behind at a company.

Management consultant Arjen de Bruin says employees become debilitated during retrenchment processes.

"You find that the negativity pervades the company. There is no growth and people literally stand still because they don't know if they are going to be next on the chopping block."

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