Fin24

Solidarity takes on Sappi retrenchments

2012-10-17 11:57

Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity says it will do everything in its power to reduce the planned retrenchments at Sappi’s [JSE:SAP] Tugela Mill in Mandeni‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ and to ensure that the process is concluded before Christmas‚ thereby giving the estimated 460 employees who could be affected by the process peace of mind as they enter the festive season.

Earlier this year the trade union succeeded in reducing the number of Sappi employees who would have been affected by large-scale retrenchments at the Ngodwana‚ Enstra‚ Richards Bay and Tugela Mills by more than half‚ from approximately 959 to 456 employees‚ through rigorous consultations with the employer and other trade unions‚ it said on Wednesday.

Last week Solidarity received a section 189 retrenchment notice from Sappi’s Tugela Mill‚ in which the company indicated that it plans to retrench some 460 employees on the basis of operational requirements‚ it added.

According to Moira-Marie Kloppers‚ spokesperson for Solidarity‚ the company has expressed a willingness to consult with Solidarity in order to reduce the number of retrenchments or to at least minimise the impact of the process.

"If everything goes according to plan‚ we may reach an agreement with the employer before Christmas‚" said Kloppers.

Solidarity and the other trade unions in the industry will engage in the first consultations with the employer regarding the planned retrenchments next week‚ it said.