Today's Labour News

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newsTimesLive reports that while the Gupta family fights for a court order that would stop the Bank of Baroda from closing their accounts, they also face the threat of revolt by thousands of mineworkers whom they employ.  

The Times visited two of the Gupta-owned mines, Optimum Coal, in Mpumalanga, and Shiva Uranium, in North West, ahead of a ruling on Monday that granted 20 Gupta-linked companies an interim interdict to postpone the bank closures.  The Guptas used the fate of their 7,500 workers to bolster their arguments against the closure of their only remaining bank accounts, but many of those workers are demanding they be paid irrespective of the "political war" they believe the family is embroiled in.  Last week workers at Optimum went on strike when wages were paid late, and on Tuesday it was revealed that contract workers at the mine had staged a go-slow, refusing to work until everyone was paid for September.  They were paid on Friday.  Workers later learned from news reports that retrenchments had been "discussed somewhere else", a reference to the Guptas.  At Shiva, the situation is far more serious, with about 208 workers of labour broker Quatrotec now without jobs after its contract was terminated on 29 September.  Maja Mphahlele, the National Union of Mineworkers Matlosana regional co-ordinator, said information about plans for the mine would apparently be made available this week and went on to say:  "There was an indication that they want to do restructuring, and retain only 50% of the workforce."

  • Read this report by Kyle Cowan in full at TimesLive

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