NUM worried about looming job cuts

Frans Baleni says several mining jobs are threatened by increased mechanisation.

NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it's extremely concerned about looming job cuts in the mining industry as different sectors ramp up their mechanisation programmes in South Africa.

NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni says the union has begun to regain its membership on the platinum belt after a significant number of members defected to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

But Baleni says the introduction of machines to do the work done by unskilled labourers is threatening their future.

He says the union is concerned.

"Around 16,000 jobs have been lost. It's quite clear that the employers have made the commitment that they will further lay off some of the workers."

Meanwhile, a strike by Amcu members in the platinum sector is still continuing.

Around 80,000 thousand mineworkers have been on strike since January at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum demanding a basic salary of R12,500.