Home South African Another 140 mining jobs on the line after underground sit-ins

Another 140 mining jobs on the line after underground sit-ins

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The mining company has said that it will dismiss 401 workers and has placed 140 workers in disciplinary hearings.

The mining sector is already facing major job losses. File picture: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers

THE MINING company Gold One International Ltd is in the process of letting go of more than 500 workers at their Modder East operations in Springs, Johannesburg.

The firings are the result of two incidents late last year that saw more than 500 workers participating or being forced to participate in a sit-in underground.

The mining company has said that it will dismiss 401 workers and has placed 140 workers in disciplinary hearings.

These workers will know their fate in the next week or so according to Ziyaad Hassam, head of legal at Gold One, while speaking to Bloomberg.

Hassam told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika that given the miners’ actions during the sit-ins last year, dismissal was an appropriate sanction.

“It doesn’t give us any satisfaction to relieve anybody of their job. We at all times want to work with employees in a constructive way to address any issues or challenges that they face,” Hassam said.

“The situations as they unfolded both in October and in December, that contravened our code of conduct in several ways.

“A lot of it would bring criminal charges as well, and they were also in violation of two clear interdicts preventing any illegal strike action from taking place. Unfortunately, those actions left us with little choice but dismissal as an appropriate sanction.”

THE MINING INDUSTRY AND JOB LOSS

In late November, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said that South Africa could face major job losses in the coming months.

The organisation said that it was shattered and disappointed by the high levels of possible job losses due to retrenchments in some of the companies, in particular mining.

“To this date, close to 10,000 jobs stand to be lost between now and January 2024,” NUM said.

This is a huge blow, according to the union, given how much unemployment the country is facing.

A number of precious metal mining companies have been looking at cutting thousands of jobs in SA.

The main reasons for this have been, firstly, the fact that the price of metals has declined, and secondly, the huge export congestion that has resulted at our ports and rails.

NUM said that businesses in all sectors need to be “considerate of the situation in the country as the level of poverty continues to be a worrying factor”.

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