March against EU dump­ing

The Poultry Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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