Today's Labour News

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goldfieldsMining Weekly reports that Gold Fields on Tuesday said it had acted in “utmost good faith” and insisted that the currently planned retrenchment of 1,082 employees and 420 contractors at its South Deep mine was a last resort.  

This followed a Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) press statement on Monday evening in which Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe expressed his dissatisfaction with Gold Fields’ approach to retrenchments.  “We don’t believe the company is acting in good faith.  They have merely engaged in a tickbox exercise for compliance purposes,” he claimed.  Gold Fields reacted in a statement:  “The company understands, and is sensitive to, the impact on families and communities of job losses due to the restructuring.  That is why the retrenchments currently being carried out were the last resort following many interventions over a long period of time.”  It added that the number of employees to be retrenched was considerably lower than what would have been the case had it not been for additional cost savings of about R500-million and other initiatives instituted by the South Deep management team in recent months.  These included a 25% reduction in the size of the management team on the mine and a series of voluntary severance packages over the past year that were accepted by about 460 employees in total, including 180 of those affected by the current retrenchments.

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