Outlook for 2019 less than positive
Publish date: 09 January 2019
Issue Number: 268
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Stagnant economic growth, general election jitters and the national minimum wage has resulted in a less than positive outlook for the labour sector in 2019, writes Legalbrief. The implementation of the national minimum wage on 1 January could mean a jobs bloodbath, Business Report says labour has warned. Labour analyst Michael Bagraim said the negative news was that there would be mass retrenchments this year and SA Federation of Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven agreed, saying labour was looking at a very difficult year. Fedusa president Godfrey Selematsela said labour federations would have their Nedlac labour school in late January to plan how to monitor the implementation of the minimum wage, including the creation of jobs flowing from the Jobs Summit held late last year. Nactu general secretary Narius Moloto said labour ended 2018 on a very bad note as there were retrenchments across all sectors and he predicted that the CCMA would be inundated with disputes this year.
Mass retrenchments on the platinum belt will cost the country’s economy more than R1bn per month in the new year. SABC News reports that this is according to the Rustenburg Chamber of Commerce, which warns that the imminent massive retrenchment process will have far reaching consequences for the Rustenburg communities and the country. Impala platinum mine has announced that it would retrench more 13 500 employees while Lonmin was also cutting more than 10 000 workers from its workforce. Impala is the country’s biggest mining employer and is set to close five of its 11 operations in Rustenburg. This has caused great anxiety among workers who are uncertain of their future. According to the chair of the Rustenburg Chamber of Commerce, Pieter Milan, a robust approach is urgently needed to avoid an economic meltdown in the region.