Tag: jobs

140 000 jobs at risk as Edcon flounders

Source: Business Live

A few weeks ago, the FM reported that Edcon, an iconic SA retail brand that began life in 1929, was facing an imminent cash crunch. This weekend, news emerged that Edcon had written to its landlords, asking for a two-year “rent holiday” of 41% for all its 1 350 stores.

The reality may be less dramatic than the “Edcon crashes” headlines suggested, partly because its stores are still open and trading. But there’s no denying that these are dire times for SA’s largest clothing retailer.

That’s not surprising. Last month, CEO Grant Pattison admitted to the FM that new funding was needed. “The current process we’re under is looking for shareholders, new and old, to inject new capital into the business,” he said.

Now, a letter dated December 11 and sent to Edcon’s landlords spells out details of how this new “restructuring plan” will work.

What is apparently on the table is that the retailer’s existing funders would convert R9bn of their debt into equity, while injecting another R700m. Then, the Public Investment Corp will inject another R1.2bn into Edcon.

For this to happen, the lenders have stipulated that Edcon’s 31 key landlords (like Hyprop and Growthpoint) must agree to the two-year “rent holiday”. This would equate to R1.2bn worth of support, for which Edcon plans to give the landlords a 5% stake.

It’s a tough call for the landlords, especially since Edcon plans to shut a number of stores until 2022. But if they reject this deal, Edcon could end up defaulting on leases anyway.

The bigger issue is whether bailing out Edcon will create a stronger retailer able to compete, or whether it will be akin to an SAA bailout — where the money vanishes up a chimney, with no value created. It’s a tough call, since Edcon has been shrinking every year. Since 2012, it has lost 22% of its clothing and footwear market share; it once held more than 50% of the sector.

Disturbingly, there aren’t too many specifics on the turnaround plan. There are promises to close some stores and improve trading densities (sales per metre), get more stock through its tills, expand its financial services side (credit and insurance, primarily) and reduce IT costs.

There’s nothing ingenious in that, though. And it’s one thing to put those goals on a PowerPoint presentation, another to make it happen.

Still, the letter to landlords contains some interesting revelations.

First, it says that since March, advisory firm Rothschild & Co has been trying to sell Edcon, but has found no takers. It adds that unless there is a further “intervention”, liquidation is “highly likely”. Fortunately, Pattison seems to have a plan, likely to be announced in the next few days, to prevent that. Which is just as well, considering the 40,000 employees who would be affected.

Of course, Pattison hasn’t helped himself by repeatedly bungling the communications around Edcon.

He denounces the reports as “misleading”, without saying exactly what was wrong. At the same time, he admits that when asked to comment by the Sunday Times, he declined.

There has been a consistent pattern of refusing to comment, then blaming the media for publishing what happened, when greater introspection might have been the wiser approach.

Unfortunately, it goes hand in hand with Edcon’s years of displaying a profound lack of respect for customers and, it seems, staff.

Hopefully, a much stronger Edcon will emerge from the ashes, one that can restore the principles and market position it once held, selling things that people actually want to buy.

Job cuts loom at DStv

By Chris Forrester for Advanced Television

According to a report in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, pay-TV operator DStv is laying off up to 200 staffers in a move to save cash amidst increased competition.

A DStv spokesperson said the move was in order to create a leaner and more agile business. Existing staff are being asked to reapply for their jobs, says the newspaper.

DStv’s parent, MultiChoice has lost some 41,000 Premium top-tier subscribers in the year to March 31st.

MultiChoice has made no secret of its annoyance that rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are eating away at its core subscribers and yet operate without having to fulfil the licensing obligations faced by MultiChoice.

MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela has called for a change in regulations to cover the new OTT entrants.

By Tehillah Niselow for Fin24

The official unemployment rate increased by 0.5% to 27.2% in the second quarter of 2018, up from 26.7% in the first three months of the year.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for April, May and June in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The increase in the unemployment rate was due to a decline of 90 000 people in employment, as well as an increase of 102 000 people who became unemployed. Additionally, the number of discouraged job seekers rose to 2.9 million people, between the first and second quarters of 2018.

Manufacturing has lost 55 000 jobs year-on-year, and Maluleke said that basic metals and food production were the main drivers of the employment losses in the sector.

The industry hardest hit by job losses was manufacturing, with 105 000 people becoming unemployed in that sector in the second quarter. Community, social and services recorded a 93 000 jobs contraction, and 57 000 employment positions were cut in trade.

The transport sector accounted for the largest increase in jobs, with 54 000 new positions in the second quarter, while mining added 38 000, private households 22 000 and utilities increased by 18 000.

Of the 20.2 million South Africans aged 15 to 34 years, the number of young people not in employment, education and training (NEET) increased by 0.4% in the second quarter year-on-year.

This rate increased for black African males and white males. The female rates of NEET was recorded at over 40% among black African females aged 15 to 34 years old.

“Black women are the most vulnerable when it comes to unemployment,” Maluleke said.

HP to cut 5 000 jobs in restructure

By Dion Weisler for CNBC 

HP now expects 4 500 to 5 000 employees to leave the company by the end of fiscal 2019 as part of an ongoing restructuring plan, the PC maker said on Tuesday.

In October 2016, HP’s board had approved a restructuring plan to be implemented through fiscal year 2019, under which it had expected around 4,000 job cuts. In May, the company said it expected that number to increase by 1 to 2 percent.

The company employed 49,000 people as of October 31.

HP, formed in 2015 when the then Hewlett-Packard Co was spilt into two, said in a regulatory filing. It now expects pretax charges of about $700 million related to the layoffs, compared with about $500 million forecast earlier.

HP estimates that about half of the expected pretax costs will relate to severance and the remaining costs due to infrastructure, non-labor actions, and other charges.

When Hewlett-Packard Co split up, HP Inc focused on the consumer-facing hardware business, including sales of PCs and printers, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise co-hosted the company’s data-center, software and services units.

HP, which has the top position in worldwide PC shipments in the first calendar quarter of 2018 with a 22.6 percent market share, reported better-than-expected quarterly sales of $14 billion in the quarter ended April 30.

Game headquarters could move to Jo’burg

Source: Supermarket & Retailer 

Durban could lose the headquarters of general merchandise retailer Game to Johannesburg, a move that could affect hundreds of staff members in the region.

Massmart Holdings Limited spokesperson Annaleigh Vallie confirmed that the move was eminent with Game management currently holding discussions with staff based at the retailer’s head office in Durban.

“It is, however, important to note that no decision on the move has been finalised,” said Vallie.

Massmart owns the South African local brands such as Game, Makro, Builder’s Warehouse, CBW and many others. It has four divisions, which are Massdiscounters to which Game falls, Masswarehouse, Massbuild and Masscash.

Walmart purchased a majority of shares in Massmart in 2011.

“The discussions are at a very early stage and currently involve consulting with approximately 330 potentially affected staff in order to ensure their input into the decision making process. From a legal perspective discussions of this nature typically take place within the framework of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.”

Vallie said currently no retrenchments were taking place in the region.

The company was of the view that if the potential move would take place, Game would benefit from being geographically closer to suppliers, Massmart and other group operating divisions.

Vallie said: “This in turn has potential to enhance commercial decision making and, group-wide collaboration and leverage.”

South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) Kwa-Zulu Natal regional secretary Mathews Ndlovu said on Monday that the union was not surprised by the move. “Our objective is to try and make sure that there is no jobs lost in the process. We cannot stop the company from re-locating as part of their business restructuring,” said Ndlovu.

He said that if the staff members agreed to go to Johannesburg, they should receive relocation allowances and fees. “These things are on the table and have not been completed yet. As for those who are not willing to relocate must be accommodated in the perimeters of the province with same benefits which are not less favourable to what they are currently getting.”

Original article by Given Majola for IOL

Job cuts loom at Ricoh

Ricoh plans to cut about 4,000 jobs as early as fiscal year 2019 to streamline its struggling, core office-equipment business, the Nikkei reported on Thursday.

The company will let go off 3 000 employees through a sale of a logistics unit in Japan and trim management positions in Europe — reducing its global workforce by 4 percent, the Japanese daily said.

Ricoh and legacy companies that supply office printing equipment such as Xerox Corp have been looking to sell assets and focus on other areas of growth as paper printing increasingly gives way to digital alternatives.

Earlier this year, Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings said it would buy Xerox in a $6.1 billion deal to gain scale and cut costs. That proposal has, however, hit road blocks as two of Xerox’s top shareholders — Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason — opposed the deal.

Ricoh, meanwhile, has already cut over 5,000 jobs in North America since beginning of this year, the Nikkei said.

The 59-year old company has reported declining profits for the past four years. Its stock has shed nearly two-thirds of its market value since its peak in 2007.

Ricoh did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The Nikkei said last month that Ricoh was conducting impairment tests on its slumping North American business, and may have to take a related charge of about 100 billion yen ($943.04 million).

The company will sell a copier factory in the Chinese industrial hub Shenzhen and is planning to dispose of its equity stake in a Coca-Cola distributor for about 56 billion yen ($528.50 million), the Japanese business daily reported on Thursday.

Expenses related to the job cuts and other restructuring efforts are expected to weigh on the company’s fiscal 2018 performance, the Nikkei reported.

Ricoh will also set aside 200-billion yen for acquisitions of commercial and industrial printing companies as it looks to move away from office printing, according to the report.

Source: Japan Today

Will your job be taken over by robots?

A new report published by the World Economic Forum casts a grim light on the future of jobs across the world, with 1.4 million US jobs alone expected to disrupted by technology and other factors between now and 2026.

The report is an analysis of nearly 1,000 job types across the US economy, encompassing 96% of employment in the country. Its aim is to assess the scale of the re-skilling task required to protect workforces from an expected wave of automation brought on by the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Drawing on this data for the US economy, the report found that 57% of jobs expected to be disrupted belong to women. In addition, the report found that if called on today to move to another job with skills that match their own, 16% of workers would have no opportunities to transition and another 25% would have only between one and three matches.

At the other end of the spectrum, 2% of workers have more than 50 options. This group makes up a very small, fortunate minority, as on average all workers would have 10 transition options today.

The positive finding of the report is the huge opportunity identified for re-skilling to lift wages and increase social mobility.

With re-skilling, for example, the average worker in the US economy would have 48 viable job transitions – nearly as much as the 2% with the most options today. Among those transitions, 24 jobs would lead to higher wages.

South Africa

Re-skilling may also ultimately be the deciding factor as to whether the South African economy survives the fourth industrial revolution.

According to a report released by global consultancy Accenture in January 2018, 35% of all jobs in South Africa are currently at risk of total automation, meaning machines can perform 75% of the activities that make up these jobs.

Accenture said that both blue and white-collar jobs are at risk.

“The jobs of clerks, cashiers, tellers, construction-, mining- and maintenance workers all fall into this category,” it said.

Hard-to-automate jobs (those with a lower risk of automation) include tasks like influencing people, teaching people, programming, real-time discussions, advising people, negotiating and cooperating with co-workers, Accenture said.

Similar to the WEF’s findings, Accenture found that if South Africa can double the pace at which its workforce acquires skills relevant for human-machine collaboration, it can reduce the number of jobs at risk from 20% (3.5 million jobs) in 2025 to just 14%(2.5 million).

“Digital is a growth multiplier. Digital technologies are ushering in a new economic era by overcoming the physical limitations of capital and labour, exposing new sources of value and growth, increasing efficiency and driving competitiveness, said Dr Roze Phillips, MD for Accenture Consulting in Africa.

“However, for countries like South Africa that are less prepared for human-machine collaboration, digital technologies may bring more job losses than gains.”

“South Africa cannot hesitate – it must start now. To succeed, leaders must act swiftly to re-imagine work, pivot the workforce and scale up ‘new skilling’,” said Phillips.

Source: Business Tech 

Fewer than a quarter of matrics find jobs relatively quickly, according to economist Mike Schüssler of economists.co.za.

Those members of the matric class of 2017 who will not be studying further, but will be looking for a job, will not be easily absorbed by the job market, he told Fin24 on Tuesday.

“It will be tough for them to get work. Over 50% of our matriculants under the age of 34 have not found permanent employment and it’s not getting better,” he said.

“This is part of the process young job seekers go though. It takes long to get a first job – even for those with a degree it takes a while. You do not get a degree and suddenly you are running the firm.”

The overall unemployment rate in SA nears 28% in the narrow sense (excluding people out of work, but still actively searching) and 37% in broader terms (including those who have given up looking for a job). For young people this figure is much higher. Schüssler estimates it to be well over 50%.

“To get your first job is probably one of the hardest things in life and often takes a while. If you have not had a job, you are regarded as not having ‘proven’ yourself yet,” explained Schüssler.

“Unemployment in SA is high already, but for the youth it is higher and for those looking for a first job it is very tough.”

According to Statistics SA, only 12.8% of people in SA between 15 and 24 have a job (in terms of the narrow definition). For those between 25 and 34 years of age, only 49.6% actually have a job; and for those between 35 to 44 years of age, 63% have a job.

“My message to matrics is that a job is a job. The big thing is to start off doing a first job. Yes, we will have minimum wages, but maybe we have to be careful regarding how it is implemented,” suggested Schüssler.

“Maybe people getting a job for the first time could be excused from having to get the minimum wage for the first two years of employment.”

Another suggestion by Schüssler is for young matriculants who do not find a job quickly to try and do volunteer work.

“Maybe ask if you can just get money for transport. At least you will still be in the process of learning. The next employer wants to know that you can stick to a job and perform the tasks you are given. That is very important,” said Schüssler.

Never lose hope

“Don’t give up hope. Everybody is suffering and employers often prefer young people who are a little bit older – about 25 years – as they might be regarded as being more mature and used to the discipline of sticking to a job.”

He pointed out that this is a global trend as older people tend to be regarded as having proven themselves – whether they have done so or not.

“Young people must try to offer a service – even start waitering, just start somewhere. The best advice is not to give up. And if you get a job, work hard. Employers want people who are productive and efficient,” said Schüssler.

“Young people must say to themselves: get a job, then negotiate and work your way up. It is not an automatic thing. Yes, SA’s unemployment is high, but all over the world young people struggle to find jobs.”

By Carin Smith for Fin24

Automation could kill 800m jobs worldwide

As many as 800-million workers worldwide may lose their jobs to robots and automation by 2030, equivalent to more than a fifth of today’s global labour force.

That’s according to a new report covering 46 nations and more than 800 occupations by the research arm of McKinsey & Co.

The consulting company said on Wednesday that both developed and emerging countries will be impacted. Machine operators, fast-food workers and back-office employees are among those who will be most affected if automation spreads quickly through the workplace.

Even if the rise of robots is less rapid, some 400-million workers could still find themselves displaced by automation and would need to find new jobs over the next 13 years, the McKinsey Global Institute study found.

The good news for those displaced is that there will be jobs for them to transition into, although in many cases they’re going to have to learn new skills to do the work. Those jobs will include health-care providers for aging populations, technology specialists and even gardeners, according to the report.

“We’re all going to have to change and learn how to do new things over time,” Michael Chui, a San Francisco-based partner at the institute, said in an interview.

Reported by Rich Miller for Bloomberg LP on Tech Central

HP is set to cut between 3 000 and 4 000 jobs worldwide over the next three years, as it seeks to make savings as PC sales continue to plummet.

The world’s second-largest PC supplier has struggled in a dwindling market, and hopes the cutbacks will save the company between $200-million to $300-million annually by 2020.

However, HP will also incur an estimated $350-million to $500-million in restructuring costs.

According to a filing made to the Security and Exchange Commission on Thursday, HP plans to swing the axe between 2017 and 2019, spread across the many countries and regions the company operates in.

HP split into two divisions in September 2015, resulting in a loss of 30 000 jobs – almost 10% of the workforce. Today HP Inc oversees printers and computers while Hewlett Packard Enterprise focuses on enterprise services, though it has spun off much of its software business.

“I’m proud of the progress we have made in our first year as the new HP. Our focus is clear, our execution is solid, and we are positioned well for the next step in our journey,” says Don Weisler, president and CEO of HP, in a statement.

“We are confident in our strategy and believe it will continue to produce reliable returns and cash flow, while also enabling HP to invest in differentiated innovation and long-term growth.”

Weisler acknowledges that the market is currently “challenging”, but says the company is still “committed to innovating”, pointing to HP’s current opportunities in manufacturing and 3D printing.

The announcement comes during a global decline in PC sales, dropping 5,7% in the third quarter compared to last year according to a report by Gartner. This represents the longest period of decline in the history of the PC industry.

By Dale Walker for www.itpro.co.uk

  • 1
  • 2
         

           

Follow us on social media: 

               

View our magazine archives: 

                       


My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Top