Trade union Solidarity is in talks with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) about the best possible solution around the council’s impending retrenchments, which the union believes could pose a direct threat to South Africa’s food security.
This follows after the union received a letter from the council stating that it is seriously considering retrenching about 1 000 of its employees.
The union says it is perturbing that the ARC is prepared to retrench skilled employees and, by doing so, jeopardise the country’s food security.
Solidarity senior coordinator Peirru Marx notes that what is even more alarming is that these retrenchments are on the table in the midst of a crisis that is already posting a threat to food access.
The union states that it has already submitted a proposed turnaround strategy to the ARC, which it says has been met with “little interest”.
Solidarity says the council is in need of restructuring, but the union cannot support the retrenchment of so many employees, and will therefore continue its engagement with the ARC.