Pick n Pay to lay off 500

19 June 2020 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKES

Windhoek



Pick n Pay Namibia yesterday announced that it will retrench 500 of its 1 931 employees in an effort to make the business sustainable.

The company's managing director, Graeme Mouton, said the retrenchments were necessary because of the prolonged economic downturn and reduced consumer disposable income.

“The company experienced marginal to negative turnover growth over the past five years.

“Furthermore, while the recession has steadily eroded turnover, costs have increased annually above inflation on all fronts, resulting in a decline in profit, leading to losses over the last two years.

“A restructuring exercise aimed at reversing losses and setting the business on the path to sustainability was therefore initiated,” he said.



Out of options

According to him the company had gone to great lengths to cut costs and avoid retrenchments, such as offering employees voluntary separation packages and early retirement options.

The uptake on these offers was low, though, and more discussions followed.

“The following proposals were presented to the union leaders for consideration: that the employees agree to forgo the annual salary increase and to forgo a 13th cheque this year, but that going forward, the 13th cheque would be converted to a performance-based bonus whereby bonuses will only be paid once the company is profitable.

That the cash card discount benefit which Pick n Pay employees enjoy be reduced.

That Sundays be included in the normal six-day working week, calculated monthly instead of weekly as is currently the case.”

[email protected]

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