Today's Labour News

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newsNews24 reports that Independent Newspapers, the publisher of The Cape Times, The Star, Isolezwe and The Mercury, has retrenched 128 employees to cut its wage bill.

The group, an indirect subsidiary of Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo group, warned of the "harsh reality of job reductions" in June amid falling advertising and dwindling circulation figures. The last day at work for the employees was 31 October. Of the 128 employees, 44 took voluntary severance packages, while 84 received notices saying they would not be reappointed after they were asked to reapply for their jobs. Another 13 staff members chose to resign, bringing to 141 the number of people leaving. The group includes editorial and advertising staff, as well as admin and sales workers in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Many are now up in arms that the first tranche of their promised severance packages has not been paid. Employee representatives agreed during weeks of negotiations for severance pay to be spread out over three months rather than deposited in a lump sum. But nothing was paid over in early November. Staff say they then hoped payment would take place on 7 November. But the payments are still outstanding. Staff were also given grocery vouchers but initially these had not been loaded with funds.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jan Cronje at Fin24 (subscriber access only)

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