Saftu’s Vavi warns of over 2 000 potential job losses at Clover

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The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has called on the Department of Trade and Industry to engage with the Competition Commission over a long-running dispute with the management of dairy company, Clover.

Members of SAFTU, the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and the General Industries Workers’ Union (GIWUSA) are threatening to occupy the Union Buildings if their demands are not met.

Workers have been on strike for almost three months in efforts to stop job losses at Clover.

SAFTU’s General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, says over 2 000 workers stand to lose their jobs.

“Problems started in 2019 when the Competition Commission – despite warnings from FAWU and GIWUSA – that they should be opposing the merger, but they went ahead and approved the integration and now we are paying the consequences of that. They are now laying off or retrenching 2 000 workers. We are going back to the Department of Trade and Industry to say you better speak to the Competition Commission to reverse the decision on this measure.”

Strike action 

In December last year, striking workers at Clover South Africa have vowed to continue with their industrial action until their demands are met.

Around 4 000 workers belonging to FAWU and GIWUSA downed tools over wage cuts and other changes to their working conditions.

In a statement, Clover Management had laid the company has been operating in a difficult environment over the last few years because economic growth in the country has been poor.

“This has led to weak consumer demand for its products while at the same time its costs have been growing above inflation, hence the need to embark on the restructuring process.”

In the video below from December last year, workers at Clover vowed to continue with their strike action: