Today's Labour News

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samancorSunday Times Business Times reports that Samancor Chrome is in the crosshairs of labour unions again over the possible retrenchment of more than 3,000 workers, even while as it faces allegations of fraud and profit-shifting.  

Last month Samancor issued section 189 (i.e. retrenchment) notices to unions at its operations and corporate office.  "This will start the consultation process between the company and the unions.  The process may potentially affect 2,438 employees at the company's mining operations and 599 employees at its smelters," the company indicated.  But, according to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), Samancor has not yet set a date to consult with the unions on the retrenchments.  The looming retrenchments are only part of the problems Samancor is facing with unions.  Numsa has also demanded that the miner carry out an independent forensic investigation into its employee share ownership programme, the Ndizani Trust.  Numsa's demand came after the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (Amcu) approached the high court in Johannesburg in October, seeking permission to litigate against Samancor, its current and former directors and its other entities.  The union, whose members form 6,000 minority shareholders as part of the trust, alleged in court papers that some of Samancor's executives were involved in fraud and profit-shifting from 2005.  At the heart of the court action are Amcu's allegations that Samancor's related company fees and transfers resulted in workers losing out on over R1.5bn in dividends.  But, Samancor CEO Desmond McManus said there was no connection between the litigation against the company and its decision to realign its business by retrenching.  Amcu said the retrenchments would not affect its litigation process against the mine.  Johan Lorenzen advised that Richard Spoor Attorneys was in the process of serving the executives with court papers and that it could take up to a year for a court date to be set.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Penelope Mashego at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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