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Cosatu calls for NC mines to shut down

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The labour federation has called on all mines in the Province to shut down production with immediate effect, for the entire duration of the lockdown period.

COSATU has called on all mines in the Province to shut down production with immediate effect, for the entire duration of the lockdown period.   

Cosatu provincial secretary Orapeleng Moraladi said on Friday that mines were contravening the regulations governing remuneration and were failing to provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the national state of disaster.

Moraladi said the majority union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), had neither been consulted or agreed that Kumba Iron Ore Mining should continue operating with a workforce of less than 50 percent at Kolomela and Sishen mines.

“This is a slap in the face to the workers and a huge shame on the government that is claiming to advocate protection of workers and everyone against the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Moraladi.

He added that health and safety regulations were not being observed at mines. 

“We have been inundated with calls from workers complaining about non-compliance along with the unbecoming attitude of employers who are operating on full scale.

“AfriSam,  PPC Lime, Idwala and Finsch mines are also operating on full scale. The Minister of Mineral Resources should explain how these mines were issued with exemptions while the country is undergoing such a sensitive and critical phase.

“We want to know why the government is putting the lives of its people at risk at the expense of profits of the few rich.” 

Moraladi added that all employers, including government departments, should refrain from threatening workers to take leave or lay off staff during the lockdown period. 

“They must fully comply with all regulations like maintaining social distancing, provision of PPE and payment of wages and salaries.”