The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) has lashed out at retail giant Massmart for using coronavirus to retrench workers.

The unions says it only received a notice of intent to retrench workers at Game stores across the country this week.

Saccawu deputy president, Mike Tau says they were kept in the dark about the retrenchments of 1 800 Game employees.

In January, Massmart announced it had commenced a consultation process in terms of the Labour Relations Act, which could see the closure of 34 stores and affect 1 440 jobs.

The group blamed low-performance levels in certain stores and slow sales as reasons for closures of some stores.

“In January, we received the section 189 notice where the company was closing some 11 supermarkets and some 22 Dion Wired. It is the same company when it came to the country as a union we objected. We have been dealing with Game for so many years and Game never took us into confidence [that] they are running at a loss. The company never had any decency to bring us up to speed. The company is now taking advantage of the current situation of COVID-19,” adds Tau.

In the video below, Saccawu opposing job cuts at Massmart earlier in January