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Fedusa slams Perx over retrenchments and proposed salary reductions

Perx issued a section 189 notice to the employees after failing to reach a consensus on reducing the workers’ salaries up to 50%.

FILE: Fedusa logo. Picture: fedusa.org.za

JOHANNESBURG – The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has slammed telecommunications company Perx's plans to retrench over 400 workers it outsourced from Telkom over 15 months ago.

Fedusa says the move comes after the company had promised to look after them.

Perx issued a section 189 notice to the employees after failing to reach a consensus on reducing the workers’ salaries up to 50%.

This is the latest notice for jobs cuts after mining giant Sibanye Stillwater also announced it will lay off over 5,000 workers by the end of the year.

Fedusa's affiliate, the South African Communications Union's Keith Aimes said, “Perx gave alternatives to the retrenchments, and the alternatives that they tabled are that they want to cut down on benefits like the housing subsidies, their medical aid and phone allowance. In a nutshell, they want to cut their salaries by 50%.”

UNIONS CALL ON EMPLOYERS TO CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES AS THOUSANDS FACE RETRENCHMENT

Following the announcement by Platinum producer Sibanye-Stillwater that it intends to cut 5,270 jobs at its Marikana mine in the North West due to financial losses, unions have urged the the company upskill and redeploy the workers it plans to retrench.

The mining company said it would enter into Section 189 consultation at the operation where 3,904 were permanent positions and 1,366 contractors would be terminated.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) want Sibanye to consider alternatives.

The NUM said it was negotiating with Sibanye-Stillwater to minimise the number of job cuts during the restructuring process, while Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa has accused Sibanye-Stillwater of sacrificing workers for profit.

The mining company is expected to retrench in December.