Today's Labour News

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minerThe Citizen writes that, instead of abating, the jobs bloodbath in the mining sector is expected to worsen as more mining companies opt for worker retrenchments as a measure to deal with economic constraints.  

Both the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the new SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have expressed concern that the sector has shed more than 70,000 workers since 2012.  But, even more job losses are being announced regularly by mining firms.  The latest intending to shed jobs is Evander Mine in Mpumalanga, with 1,722 of the 1,812 workers facing retrenchment.  Notice of intention to retrench has apparently been given to the National Union of Mineworkers by the employer, a subsidiary of Pan African Resources.  Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi said the Mpumalanga economy was in danger due to pending retrenchments in the province.  He cited the uncertain future faced by workers at three Mpumalanga Gupta-owned mines, namely Optimum, Koornfontein and Brakfontein.  “Employees at all three [mines] are on strike after receiving no wages in February and their jobs are in the balance,” Vavi said.  This is in addition to the 12,600 jobs to be cut in the next three years by platinum giant Lonmin as announced in December, adding to the 1,100 positions shed earlier in 2017.  As if this were not enough, earlier the same year, AngloGold Ashanti said it would retrench 8,500 workers.  Unions have proposed a moratorium on layoffs for a humane mechanism to be sought to resolve the crisis.

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