Cape Town – The Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Fawu) on Friday asked MPs to support a “trade war” with the EU to help save the South African poultry industry from demise.
Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola told Parliament’s portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries that the EU was selling breast portions to their member countries at premium prices and “dumping” leg quarters in South Africa at “ridiculously low prices”.
This, he said, had already led to a few thousand jobs being shed in the local industry, and the situation was set to get worse “if nothing is done”. “By June it wouldn’t be far-fetched to talk about close to between 5000 and 7000 jobs which are likely to come to an end.”
South Africa’s biggest poultry company, Astral Foods, had reduced hours for workers and closed some shifts, reducing the weekly pay of its employees instead of complete retrenchment, Fawu told MPs.
At Rainbow Chicken, the second biggest poultry company, 1350 jobs were lost due to the firm closing some of its farms.
This article was first published on www.iol.co.za/business-report on 13 March