Mining industry accused of planning retrenchments to boost profits

Amcu says businesses want to get rid of workers with non-curable diseases such as silicosis, who the state then has to take care of.

FILE: Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Mia Lindique/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has accused the industry of planning retrenchments in order to boost profits and escape the liabilities related to the cost of labour.

The union says businesses want to get rid of workers with non-curable diseases such as silicosis, who the state then has to take care of.

Several mining companies have this year announced plans to cut thousands of posts.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa says while the economy is struggling to create jobs, the mining industry has been shedding the remaining positions for other reasons.

“This is not related to our five months long strike for a living wage. In sectors where there has been no strike, the companies continue to shed jobs.”