Today's Labour News

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edconThe Star reports that trade unions have called on the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to rescue SA’s largest non-food retail group Edcon from its financial woes to avoid a jobs bloodbath.  

A report emerged at the weekend detailing how the retail giant was on the brink of collapse.  Cosatu parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks on Tuesday warned that the massive job losses would not only affect Edcon.  He observed:  “We want no job losses.  We are saying there is space to make a plan.  This is not just job losses at Edcon but also to factories that supply them.  We support the engagements between the management and stakeholders to find a way out of this crisis.  We think the PIC can and it should.  This must obviously be done in a sustainable way.”  A report by the Sunday Times stated that Edcon had sent a letter to its 31 biggest landlords asking for a two-year 41% “rent holiday” in exchange for a 5% stake in the business in a bid to stave off liquidation and the loss of up to 140,000 jobs.  The retailer operates 1,350 stores, which include CNA, Edgars and Jet.  Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said:  “I think we don’t have an option but to find a way of rescuing the company.  The government must work with the management and unions to avoid job losses.”  On Monday, Edcon CE Grant Pattison said the group was not collapsing as suggested by the report, but was engaged in talks to prevent job losses.

  • Read more of Mary-Jane Mphahlele’s report on this story at SA Labour News
  • Read too, Sactwu concerned about Edcon’s financial woes, at SABC News

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page