Nov. 10, 2021


2 min read

Massive job cuts loom

Massive job cuts loom

NACTWU Secretary General, Sam Mokhele

Story highlights

  • Shrinking international markets force C&Y to retrench 2 700 workers
  • Trade Unions say they can only fight for employees who are still at work

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WITH hardly six weeks left before Christmas, about 2 700 employees in the sewing department of one of the country’s top textile firms, C&Y - Niehsing International Lesotho are likely to lose their jobs starting from November 17 due to shrinking international markets.

Sam Mokhele, the Secretary General of the National Allied Clothing and Textile Workers Union (NACTWU) said the company first closed the cutting department where 1 000 workers lost their jobs on October 20.

“We learnt that the sewing department was next to release its staff and the last group of workers will go home between December 1 and 3. This is a department with the largest work force in the company.
The firm, he said explained that it had to retrench the workers because it no longer gets orders from its major consumer, the United States of America (USA) due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

“As trade unions, we only fight for the workers’ rights while they are still at work and we ensure that due processes are followed when they are retrenched,” Mr Mokhele said, adding that they have no knowledge about C&Y’s financial status.

He was however, quick to note that the massive job losses have left many families stranded and without an income at a critical time of the year.

“The impact of the cut jobs is not only being felt by the retrenched workers and their families, but other sectors that do business with them like taxi operators, retailers and landlords also feel the pinch,” he said, adding that the economy is being immensely compromised as the rate of unemployment escalates in the country.

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Between October and December last year, C&Y and its other sister company, Global Garments retrenched 800 workers before Nienhsing 2 released 2 600 workers in August this year.
NIENHSING International Lesotho has a total of four factories operating under its wing in the country, including Formosa that produces plastic ware. The latter company has a massive work force of 11 000 employees. LeNA

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