Business: Samancor Chrome Preparing to Retrench Nearly 20% Of Staff
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10 March 2009
Samancor Chrome start process of retrenching nearly 20% of employees
The ferrochrome producer Samancor Chrome issued notices to employees and trade unions in which the company indicates that it plans on retrenching about 20%, or 900 of the company’s almost 4 690 employees. This decision follows after several measures had been implemented by the group in an effort to avoid retrenchments, according to Jurgen Schalamon, executive director of Samancor Chrome.
Among the measures implemented by the group in the past three months are paid extended leave during the closing period, doing away with contract services, reducing overtime and offering voluntary severance packages.
According to Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans, Solidarity is very grateful for measures such as these recently being implemented by several companies. “However, the problem is now that the measures are in many cases not sustainable and that they are actually a precursor to forced retrenchments,” Kleynhans explained. “Retrenchments will take place at all six of the group’s units,” Kleynhans added. These units included Western chrome mine (outside Mooinooi), Ferrometals (in Witbank), Middelburg Ferrochrome, Eastern chrome mines and Tubatse Ferrochrome (outside Steelpoort), and Samancor head office (in Johannesburg).
Meanwhile, the company has also indicated that it will continue with voluntary retrenchments and voluntary early retirement.
According to a letter regarding the planned retrenchments that management has sent to employees, production at Samancor’s smelters will be cut by 55%, while production will be cut by 50% at the group’s mines. In addition, alloy sales and export ore will be reduced by about 45% and 60% respectively.
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