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Cosatu reiterates call for moratorium on job cuts

The labour federation said employers had become too reliant on cutting jobs when faced with operational challenges, instead of considering other solutions.

FILE: Cosatu's members marched on Parliament on 19 February 2019 amid concerns over potential job cuts at state entities, like Eskom. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has once again called for a moratorium on retrenchments as the country’s economic problems worsen.

The labour federation said employers had become too reliant on cutting jobs when faced with operational challenges, instead of considering other solutions.

As business, government and labour re-committed to the realisation of the 2018 Jobs Summit accord, which included the creation of 275,000 jobs, Cosatu said more could be done.

According to the federation, a review of the labour laws in the country with a specific focus on making it more difficult for employers to retrench workers was required.

Cosatu's first deputy president Mike Shingange said while working on achieving the goals set at the Jobs Summit, Nedlac partners had to 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 [Labour Relations Act] 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,” Shingange said.

One of the debates ensuing in the country was commentators and social partners considering different solutions to the overwhelming unemployment rate that has been centred on whether labour laws are fit for purpose.

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