FAWU seeks government’s intervention to save jobs in alcohol industry

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The Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU) has called on government to put a moratorium on job cuts and salary reductions in light of the reinstatement of the ban on the sale of alcohol.

As the country’s COVID-19 cases continued to increase, there were concerns that the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol led to an increase in hospital admissions and ultimately affected the fight against the pandemic.

FAWU General Secretary Mayoyo Mngomezulu says they will meet with employers in the alcohol industry to try and save the jobs of thousands of workers.

“The immediate effect as announced by the President has caused our members harm, for example, a truck driver that was on the road a minute after or a second after were seemed to be contravening the law and the workers had to leave the trucks there and others have to rearrange in terms of going to work on the following day,” he says.

“We are meeting the employers at 9 on zoom, we are going to have a strategy to see how best we can convince the President to save the jobs because the President is just announcing and he’s not coming with the plans to save jobs hence we are requesting that the government should have at least brought a moratorium in place to govern or regulate retrenchment, job cuts and salaries,” added Mngomezulu.

Below is reaction to the re-reinstatement of alcohol ban during lockdown:

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has reiterated the importance of freeing up hospitals for COVID-19 patients, instead of trauma patients, often admitted after alcohol abuse.

Mkhize says alcohol is mostly behind stabbings, gunshot wounds and car accidents.

The suspension on the sale and distribution of alcohol was re-instituted a couple of weeks ago for this reason, among others.