Today's Labour News

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newsMail & Guardian reports that the red meat industry is already feeling the effects of a nationwide recall of certain ready-to-eat meat products linked to the listeriosis outbreak that has led to the deaths of 183 people so far.  

As products such as polony and viennas have been pulled from retail shelves, meat processing and manufacturing have slowed dramatically and jobs are already being lost, according to the Red Meat Industry Forum.  Although the feedback from the industry is still only preliminary, the manufacturing of processed meats is down by roughly 50%, according to the forum’s general manager, Michelle de Lange.  Retail sales of processed meats, meanwhile, were down by about 80%, said De Lange.  Smaller manufacturers have been hardest hit and have already begun retrenching staff.  “It is estimated that roughly 20% of jobs are being laid off in the manufacturing sector as a result.  The impact is severe,” said De Lange.  If monthly overheads could not be recovered, she said, this could lead to greater financial losses and possibly even company closures.  There are about 200 processing facilities across the country.

  • Read this report by Lynley Donnelly in full at M&G online

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page