MARCH AGAINST EU DUMPING
March against EU dumping
The local poultry industry is under massive strain, with thousands of jobs on the line due to the dumping of bonein chicken portions from the EU.
Several hundred workers and management from the poultry sector in Mpumalanga, Northwest and Kwazulu-natal marched to the offices of the EU in Pretoria on 1 February. They delivered a list of
demands, including a call for an end to dumping.
COSATU has added its voice to the outcry, saying it was “deeply concerned” by the prospect of further job losses, calling the crisis a matter of national concern.
March organisers, including trade union FAWU, said more than 110 000 jobs are at risk besides the approximately 5 000 already lost, with as many as 20 000 more potentially affected in the feed supply sector.
“We came together united against the dumping of products from the EU. We are dealing with unfair competition,” said Katishi Masemola, general secretary of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU).
Attributed to the unprecedented high volume of imports, Rainbow (RCL), SA’S largest poultry producer, retrenched over 1 300 employees and sold 15 of its 25 farms in Kwazulu-natal late last year.
The EU has hotly denied that its exports are the cause of the industry’s woes, with trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom claiming South Africa’s poultry industry is “suffering from structural problems affecting its competitiveness.”
RCL MD Scott Pitman, however, says not only has the company taken a financial burden over the past five years, but the loss has got so big that the company will go bankrupt if they don’t cut the size of their business.
“No nation, no matter how efficient, can compete against dumping,” he said.