Fawu threatens strike action if Agoa deal with US not reviewed

Fawu says poultry firms are considering retrenching workers because of the increased cost of production.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) has called on minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) or risk having the unions poultry workers go on strike.

Fawu officials say employers in the poultry industry are considering the prospect of retrenching about 12 thousand workers because of the increased cost of production.

Last year, Davies signed a deal with the United States to accept chicken, pork and meat in exchange for duty free imports to the country.

Fawu's Katishi Masemola says the department of trade and industry needs to reconsider Agoa, if it will lead to an increase in unemployment in the country.

According to Masemola a number of poultry companies have started considering retrenching workers as they cannot compete with the low production cost of poultry coming from the US.

"The Rainbow Chicken company has already indicated that it is considering retrenching and to close down on one operation."

Masemola says a summit should be held where government, industry and the unions consider ways to save the poultry industry.

He says government should be willing to compromise and if needs be reverse the deal with America to save thousands of jobs.