Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Dec 2008

Security: About 1 000 More Mineworkers Possibly Retrenched


Recent Gauteng Business News

The trade union Solidarity today received two more Section 189 notices from mines, which could jointly result in the retrenchment of nearly 1 000 employees. Meanwhile, continuous research by Solidarity shows that more than 12 000 employees in the mining industry could be affected by the planned retrenchments at various mines.

About 400 employees of Consolidated Murchison Mine (Consmurch) outside Phalaborwa and more than 580 contractors of Redpath at International Ferrometals’ (IFM) Lesedi mine outside Rustenburg could possibly lose their jobs in the retrenchment process.

In terms of the notice Solidarity received from Consmurch, the worldwide economic crisis as well as the drop in the demand for antimony are offered as the primary reasons for the planned retrenchments. Furthermore, Consmurch plans on carrying out the retrenchments among its support personnel in particular. Solidarity will meet with Consmurch management this coming Tuesday, 9 December to discuss possible alternatives to retrenchment.

Consmurch is the only producer of antimony in South Africa and produces about 8% of the world’s antimony. Gold is also mined at Consmurch.

Meanwhile, IFM also handed a notice to the contractor Redpath yesterday in which the ferrometal company indicated that it would be terminating the services of the contractor due to operational reasons. The termination of the contract would mean that 582 contract employees would lose their jobs in the process.

According to Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans, Solidarity is increasingly concerned about the crisis in the South African mining industry owing to the weakening of the worldwide economy. However, the trade union has been included in a task team that will investigate the influence of the current economic conditions on South African mining.

The task team will, amongst other tasks, draw up a plan to provide alternatives for the retrenchment of 12 000 mineworkers. “The world’s economy currently has a massive influence on South Africa’s mining industry and while there is no improvement in the economies of countries to which South Africa exports raw materials, local circumstances will also not improve,” explains Kleynhans.

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