Home South African Playtex goes under leaving more than 700 unemployed

Playtex goes under leaving more than 700 unemployed

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More than 700 workers from the underwear manufacturer Playtex will be without an income after a decision was made to liquidate the 60-year-old company.

The underwear manufacturer Playtex in Jacobs, Durban will close and over 700 employees will lose their jobs. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / African News Agency (ANA)

MORE than 700 workers from the underwear manufacturer Playtex will join the growing queues at the unemployment office after a decision was made to liquidate the 60-year-old company.

Staff were notified on January 7 that Hanes South Africa Pty had filed for liquidation a day earlier and that all activities were immediately suspended. This meant staff would not return to work on January 11 as scheduled. Instead, the premises in Lawley Street, Jacobs would remain closed.

“This was a difficult decision and we know the impact on employees,” said an SMS to employers. “You will be treated fairly and we have taken necessary steps to ensure that all guaranteed termination rights will be fulfilled according to South Africa’s law.”

The employees were paid their salaries and benefits until January 15, but what happens next is what worries them. Some have been with the company for decades. They are concerned that, given the current state of the economy, they will not find new work.

International investor, Hanes South Africa PTY, which operated the 60-year-old Playtex, said in a statement after careful consideration, the board decided to file for creditors voluntary liquidation. It said it believed it would be the best outcome for staff and other affected parties.

“The decision to file for liquidation follows the placing in business rescue of a major client of the business, as well as the ongoing poor economic conditions in South Africa, which have been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19.”

However, the decision to liquidate meant 735 employees would lose their jobs.

“We are committed to ensuring our employees are treated fairly and that they will receive all termination rights in respect of South African labour laws.”

It said the liquidators were appointed on January 13 and the liquidation process has started.