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NUM threatens mass protest over planned retrenchments

It says it’s also concerned about the Bokoni Platinum Mine’s plan to cut over 2,600 permanent jobs by next month.

FILE: Miners at work in a shaft. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is threatening a general mass protest in the mining industry against the retrenchment of thousands of employees.

The union marched to the AngloGold Ashanti head office in Johannesburg at the weekend against the company’s decision to retrench 8,500 workers at its Carletonville operation.

It says it is also concerned about the Bokoni Platinum Mine’s plan to cut over 2,600 permanent jobs by next month.

The mineworkers say they want Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and President Jacob Zuma to intervene in what they say is a crisis as soon as possible.

NUM deputy president Joseph Montisetsi says: “We’ve already briefed Cosatu to apply for Section 77, that we’re going to embark on a general strike of which is not going to be one day because these retrenchments are not only affecting mining industry, retail industry is much more in crisis the same way that we’re.

“So this is the beginning, we’re building up towards major onslaught against the industry.”

RETRENCHMENTS WILL FUEL ILLEGAL MINING

NUM says the retrenchments of thousands of employees in the mining industry will fuel the rising illegal mining activities in the country.

The union says it is concerned about the job cuts, saying it’s done deliberately as a political play against workers.

Montisetsi says: “These illegal mining that is taking place are done by the former mine workers who are desperate with no jobs. So doing this is to include crime and you sentence people to permanent poverty.

“This means companies are deliberately showing no patriotism to the government of the day.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)