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Lily Mine workers, management reach retrenchment agreement

The mine is currently under business rescue and was only able to have its business plan approved.

FILE: Vantage goldfield CEO Michael McChesney and Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa briefing the media on rescue operations at the Lily Mine in Barberton Mpumalanga on 12 February, 2016. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - An agreement has been reached between workers and the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga over retrenchment packages.

The mine halted operations in February during a major rock collapse.

Three workers were plunged into the massive hole and have been trapped inside a container underground ever since.

Solomon Nyerende, Pretty Nkambule and Yvonne Mnisi are still trapped underground after a lamp room they were working in fell into a sinkhole.

The mine is currently under business rescue and was only able to have its business plan approved by creditors today in order to apply for the R200 million needed to resume operations.

Solidarity's Gideon du Plessis said, "The workers who are opting for retrenchment can leave immediately but unfortunately they will only be paid their severance packages when funding is secured but as a sweetener, their medical aid will be paid."

NUM SET ON OPPOSING LILY MINE SEVERANCE PACKAGE DEAL

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said last week it would not accept a plan by the mine to issue voluntary severance packages to its workers.

The union argued it's against the move as it believes management intends to retrench the employees cheaply.

The NUM spokesperson Ngoako Matsha said the workers at the mine have suffered enough.