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Mathunjwa: One job loss, one too many

Amcu held a briefing on Tuesday following an announcement last week that the platinum producer plans to cut around 13,000 jobs over the next two years.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa briefs the media on 4 August 2018. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has warned it plans to hit Impala Platinum where it hurts the most should the mining company enter talks over planned retrenchments with a capitalism approach.

Amcu held a briefing on Tuesday following an announcement last week that the platinum producer plans to cut around 13,000 jobs over the next two years.

Amcu represent about 70% of the workforce in the platinum industry and is the majority union at Implats.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa says the union will do whatever it can to protect the livelihood of their workers.

“We’re not going to allow the capital to abuse the Labour Relations Act in order to secure their greedy appetite.”

He says one job loss is one too many.

“One salary in the mining sector actually represents between five to 10 livelihoods of family members depending on that salary.”

Meanwhile, Impala Platinum says it plans to work with government and the union to save as many jobs as possible.

WATCH: Amcu threaten to strike at Implats over job cuts

Impala Platinum has cautioned Amcu, saying that while industrial action may put pressure on platinum producers, it may also result in more job losses.

Implats says it is committed to working with government and the union to saving as many jobs as possible.

The platinum miner says that while 40,000 jobs are at risk at its Rustenburg operations, it is confident of saving at least 27,000.

The mining company's Johan Theron says: “But hopefully, with collaborative efforts and working together, we can fight even more.”

He says he hopes the platinum producer can reach an amicable solution with the union on how to mitigate the job losses and sustain its operations.

“Strike action might be a viable option to put pressure on whoever but it’s unlikely to save more jobs, in fact, it could result in more job losses.”

Mathunjwa has called for the nationalisation of mines as a way to save and create more jobs in the country, especially in the mining sector.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)