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
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
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.