File: Edcon is close to announcing a deal to save it from collapse.
* Editor's note: This article is updated each time new information becomes available.
JOHANNESBURG - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) says if Edcon goes under, it will the biggest jobs bloodbath in the country's history.
About 40,000 permanent employees and 100,000 indirect jobs are reportedly on the line.
Saftu's general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says the potential loss of another 140,000 jobs is catastrophic.
He is calling on government to intervene to avoid job losses at the retail giant.
Edcon owns Edgars, CNA and Jet stores.
Sactwu's National Industrial Policy Officer Etienne Vlok said the union is very concerned about the state of Edcon as many of their members are employed in factories that supply Edcon stores.
The Sunday Times reported that Edcon is seeking R2-billion in emergency funding from its owners as well as the state-owned Public Investment Corporation.
The newspaper says it's also asking its landlords for a two-year rent holiday.
If landlords reject the offer, Edcon could reportedly be forced to shut its doors.
But Edcon's CEO Grant Pattison is denying this.
He says the retail group is close to announcing a deal to save it from collapse.