Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) Second Deputy President,Zingiswa Losi, says the planned national job summit will be a futile exercise if the looming mass retrenchment by mining company, Implats is not prevented.

The company’s announcement that it would lay off thousands of workers due to financial difficulties, has led to an outcry by unions. It came in the wake of an increase in unemployment statistics.

Losi was addressing a Cosatu young workers forum in Polokwane.

“There is an agreement that we shall have a job summit. But at the same time you have the mining industry talking about retrenchment of 13 000 workers, mineworkers at the Implats and that is a contradiction if you are to work towards a job summit and yet before you even get to the summit you are already talking about retrenchment. We want government and also the private sector to really work with us.”

The deputy chairperson of Cosatu in Limpopo Calvin Tshamano, has urged the young workers to lead the labour federation’s recruitment drive. Tshamano says statistics have revealed that 70% of the country’s workforce is not unionised.

“How does it come that the country of more than 50 million people has 190 registered unions. But the unionisation of those workers has actually fallen to almost 30%, with 70% of workers not unionised. It doesn’t talk to the ANC, it doesn’t talk to the party. This one talks to ourselves. We have been unable to get at least 50% of the workers. We have not done well. That’s why the federation needs to be at the forefront of recruitment of workers.”

Watch Implats to retrench 13 000 mineworkers: