Retrenchments at Pick n Pay

Pick n Pay has launched a retrenchment process and is offering staff voluntary severance packages, which can lead to significant job losses at the retailer.

When asked for comment, the retailer initially tried to hide the job cuts and denied that it was retrenching workers.

“Pick n Pay has denied that it’s retrenching workers and that it’s undertaking restructuring at its stores,” the SABC reported.

On Monday, the National Union of Food, Beverage, Wine, Spirit and Allied Workers (NUFBWSAW) also told Daily Investor it was unaware of any Section 189 process at Pick n Pay.

However, the company’s chief business transformation officer, David North, has now confirmed it has started a retrenchment process.

News24 reported that the retrenchment programme is before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

SABC reported that over 1,000 managers at Pick n Pay stores were served with retrenchment letters. News24 said up to 700 junior manager jobs could be affected.

To further reduce jobs, the company is also offering staff voluntary severance packages across the group.

SABC reported that many Pick n Pay staff had already accepted the severance packages, which can be expected with retrenchments looming.

North could not provide details on how many staff members had already accepted voluntary severance packages.

Daily Investor asked Pick n Pay for further details on its retrenchment plans and voluntary severance packages, and it said two separate processes are underway.

“Pick n Pay is modernising its stores under its Ekuseni plan it announced last year, which saw it split its offering into two distinct brands: Pick n Pay and Pick n Pay QualiSave,” it said.

“As part of this, it is restructuring its junior store management structure by removing roles which are no longer required and investing in new roles that will improve customer service.”

Pick n Pay said it is important to note that more jobs will be created in stores than currently exist. “Staff will, however, need to be flexible on the roles they will perform in the future.”

“This process remains in consultation,” Pick n Pay said.