DSA to be sold to Aerosud, retrenchment looms: Solidarity

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Trade union Solidarity says state arsenal Denel is in the process of selling its loss-making Denel Saab Aerostructures (DSA) business to black-empowered aerospace company Aerosud. The union says indications are this will lead to another round of retrenchments among DSA staff.



“If the sale of the struggling Denel entity … goes ahead, DSA employees could be faced with a retrenchment process for the fourth time in three years. It could also lead to the closure of DSA. Since 2008, no fewer than 485 DSA employees have lost their jobs in three separate Section 189 retrenchment processes,” Solidarity says in a statement.
“The sale of DSA has already been approved in principle by the Denel board. Aerosud has already indicated that if financing is obtained for the transaction, not all of the present DSA employees can be retained. DSA has suffered enormous losses since 2008, leading to three retrenchment processes. During the first retrenchment process, 183 employees lost their jobs. The second and third retrenchment processes cost 122 and 180 employees their jobs, respectively,’ the statement adds.
“If DSA had not suffered an enormous loss of R328 million, the Denel group would probably have shown a profit last year,” union spokeswoman Ilze Nieuwoudt continued. “The group showed a loss of R246 million in 2010,” she added. “Meanwhile, the National Treasury granted more than R8,82 billion in financial support to the Denel group, but the losses still continue year after year.” according to Nieuwoudt.
“The remaining 410 employees are now faced with the uncertainty of a fourth retrenchment process. At least 160 jobs could be affected by the latest retrenchment process. DSA also faces
“DSA manufactures airplanes, including planes for the Airbus A400M contract, and has highly qualified employees. Unfortunately, this entity has lost more than half of this expertise since 2008. It is unknown how many of these experts have left the country,” Nieuwoudt said. “Poor management is to blame for what happened here. In spite of the losses recorded, the management of the Denel group get large bonuses every year,” according to Nieuwoudt.