23 July, 2015The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has succeeded in getting Kumba Iron Ore to retract offers made individually to workers.
Management of the Anglo American owned company agreed during a meeting with the union on 23 July 2015 that they will work with the union to negotiate retrenchments at its Northern Cape mines.
Currently 261 workers stand to lose their jobs at their operations at Kolomela and Sishen in the Northern Cape. Kumba Iron Ore is also closing its Thabazimbi operation in the Limpopo province which will result in 1160 job losses. A meeting between the union and management has been scheduled for next week on the retrenchments at Thabazimbi.
"This is a tragedy for the mineworkers and the community of Thabazimbi. Each worker supports about 10 people so there are too many people that will be without bread at the end of the day," said Lucas Phiri, NUM Chief Negotiator at Kumba Iron Ore, “but if these retrenchments are inevitable we know what a setback this is for workers and the hardship it causes for them and their families so we will work hard to get them the best possible packages”.
The NUM also questions whether the company met its legal obligation to inform the Minister of Minerals Resources of its intention to retrench and has requested the Minister to intervene to prevent the retrenchments. The union has also demanded a moratorium to be placed on retrenchments at all mines saying “enough is enough”.