Mining industry continues to bleed jobs

Striking miners chant slogans outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 15, 2012. Thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks faced off with South African police on Wednesday at Lonmin's Marikana mine after it halted production following the deaths of 10 people in fighting between rival unions. Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, has threatened to sack 3,000 rock drill operators if they fail to end a wildcat pay strike that started on Friday at its flagship mine Marikana. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
JOHANNESBURG – The loss of jobs continued in the mining sector with Sibanye-Stillwater yesterday (Wednesday) confirming that almost 7 000 jobs would be shed at its Cooke underground mine.
The mining company said that 6 979 would be cut at Cooke as part of the restructuring of Cooke and Bbeatrix where were necessary to stem the cycle of losses at the mines.
Retrenchment of over 2 000 employees with an additional 1 350 having already elected to take voluntary separation packages, the company said. They also said a total of 3 601 contractors had been ‘displaced’ while additional 620 employees would replace contractors involved in non-critical activities across the group.
Chief Executive of Sibanye-Stillwater, Neal Froneman said the decision to retrench was not taken lightly. “It is pleasing to note that we have managed to ameliorate job losses through the consultation process,”  he said. He added that the company saved 3 282 jobs, while also ensuring the sustainability of our remaining operations and thereby securing over 60 000 jobs in the country.
Other companies that are planning to cut jobs include the Ashanti and Anglo American Platinum’s joint venture.
Sibanye-Stillwater, said that it had concluded the consultations with stakeholders in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act in which it was agreed that it would place underground mining operation at the Cooke 1,2 and 3 shafts on care and maintenance from November.

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