Aveng and union at odds over layoffs

By: Mark Allix

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and JSE-listed construction company Aveng are at loggerheads over claims of ‘mass’ retrenchments by an Aveng subsidiary.

The NUM says it has received section 189 notices from Aveng Grinaker-LTA to retrench 2,863 workers. The union is ‘worried and saddened Aveng Grinaker-LTA is likely to retrench such a huge number of workers’ at a time of high unemployment.

Aveng’s group turnover has plunged from R33.7bn in financial 2016 to R23.5bn in 2017. This comes amid a 17-year low point in SA’s construction industry.

‘We would like to call on Aveng Grinaker-LTA to rethink its position to retrench.

‘They must create opportunities for job creation rather than maximising profits at the expense of the poor construction workers who earn poverty wages,’ Livhuwani Mammburu, the NUM national spokesman, said on Thursday.

‘Aveng Grinaker-LTA said it is retrenching due to most of its projects coming to an end and no future projects are awarded to the company,’ he said.

An Aveng Grinaker-LTA representative said the group was engaging with representative unions on retrenching 120 permanent jobs in Aveng Grinaker-LTA Building.

The engagement had being going on since October 2017 in a process facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

‘The 2,863 number quoted in the NUM statement is the total headcount of wage-earning employees in Aveng Grinaker-LTA, not the number of employees affected by the retrenchment process,’ the representative said. (BusDayLive 2 February 2018)

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