Today's Labour News

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miner thumb medium90 104Bloomberg reports that former workers who contracted deadly lung diseases, particularly silicosis, in SA gold mines decades ago may soon finally receive compensation.  

Six large mining companies have set aside about $390 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by victims.  “There’s broad agreement on the terms of a settlement,” said Richard Spoor, the human rights lawyer who brought the suit after first beginning the case against producers in 2006.  He said the parties were working on processes to distribute payments to tens of thousands of claimants living across southern Africa, with work likely to be concluded by the end of the year.  Alan Fine, a spokesman for the companies, agreed on that timeframe, although he said that an agreement had yet to be finalised.  While the six mining companies are preparing to settle, they do not admit liability for ignoring safety standards or failing to protect their employees.  Apart from the lawsuit settlement, the compensation fund in terms of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act says it has tripled annual payouts after tackling administrative problems that left more than 100,000 verified claimants waiting for money.

  • Read this report by Kevin Crowley in full at Moneyweb

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