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Cosatu: Law must be changed to make it harder to retrench

As the country continues to reel from the 29% unemployment rate and mass job losses in key industries, Cosatu says it has called on government to review section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

FILE: Cosatu members march against job losses at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg on 13 February 2019. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union federation Cosatu says one of the interventions to address the jobs crisis it has raised at Nedlac includes the tightening of labour laws to make it harder for employers to retrench workers.

The federation, along with other stakeholders, form part of the economic development and labour council responsible for labour market policy formulation.

As the country continues to reel from the 29% unemployment rate and mass job losses in key industries, Cosatu says it has called on government to review section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

The section in question regulates the conditions and processes for retrenchments by employers.

Cosatu first deputy president Mike Shingange says while working on achieving the goals set at the Jobs Summit last year, Nedlac partners must also work on section 189.

“One of the discussions we have started now is that in fact we even need to change section 189 of the LRA that makes it easy and cheap for employers to just retrench people.

“It must be very difficult and very expensive for any employer to rush to section 189 as and when they want to lay off workers.”

Cosatu also wants a moratorium on retrenchments in the country until the economic crisis is over.