Jobs bloodbath in mining

2012-09-20 10:47

Johannesburg - About 10 000 jobs could be lost in the mining industry, National Union of Mineworkers' (Num) general secretary Frans Baleni said on Thursday.

"We are talking about 10 000 jobs lost," he told media on the sidelines of the Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) conference in Midrand.

The industry had already lost 4 800 jobs between February and June, he said.

Lonmin [JSE:LON] planned to close down a shaft operated by Murray and Roberts on contract. This would lead to 1 200 lost jobs. It had also cancelled plans for a new development, costing a potential 3 000 jobs.

Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] had issued a section 189 notice in terms of the Labour Relations Act to retrench 2 000 workers.

Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] had told the Num some of its shafts were not profitable, which could lead to even more job losses.

"All of these things are happening while we are engaging the industry and DMR (department of mineral resources) to prevent a jobs bloodbath," Baleni said.

This comes as "expectation has been created in the industry" after a deal was reached with Lonmin of wage increases of up to 22%.

Baleni said the Num had been getting calls from members in the coal, platinum and gold mining sectors wanting similar increases.

The Num was worried that the Lonmin deal would lead to copycat demands.

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  • Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-09-20 10:58

    Well that's the see saw of the labour market. When costs go up the mines must get a balance and reduce costs elsewhere, usually by shedding jobs. To use the cliche:- what you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts.

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-20 13:09

      WELL DONE JUJU..! 'Economic freedom in our lifetimes' - hell ye.., you will soon be so economically free, you will be completely freed from any economic means...

  • grootrot.vanzyl - 2012-09-20 11:01

    The expectation created in industry was the moment that the strike went ahead, jblosses will be inevitable. The only winners in such nice price hikes are those who keep their jobs. Those who loose it should go on the dole and if the dole increases the tax burden, taxes will raise then the people who are working will probably sooner or later be at the same effective salary, except for the fact that they will then be sponsoring a non working former co - worker.

  • sipho.sebokasi - 2012-09-20 11:18

    "Baleni said the Num had been getting calls from members in the coal, platinum and gold mining sectors wanting similar increases." What must we do? We are living in terrible conditions and need more money so we too can have a house and educate our children so they dont have to live like we do. but a hungy cold child can not learn.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-20 11:32

      Yours and other situations are sad. But also, if you do not have a job that pays well enough, WHY HAVE CHILDREN in the first place? It's child abuse having a child when you don't even have enough money to support yourself. I want children, but i will not have until i am in the position to earn more money or have enough saved up.

      robert.kempen.7 - 2012-09-20 11:32

      Sipho - we all understand your plight, but a non profitable mine will close down. If you want more, you must find a better job. This is the basic principle of free enterprise and the reason whu kids need to educate themselves in order to climb up the job ladder

      sipho.sebokasi - 2012-09-20 11:33

      I know this, that is why i dont have many children. good school is not close for children :(

      sipho.sebokasi - 2012-09-20 11:36

      @robert @wesley I know this but we were promised better conditions. My 2 children i hope will make a better future. I am so sad to hear others may lose jobs.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-09-20 11:54

      I know @Sipho It really is sad that the ANC government has made so many promises, and only maybe delivered effectively on 20% of them. All they do is blow hot smoke, and NEVER take responsibility for any other their failures/mistakes. I mean, we are all human, but a decent, respectable person takes responsibility for their actions. The only way to change things is to knock those thieving, money-hungry, inept * out of office by voting for a party that actually does do what they say they will do. And that doesn't necessarily mean you must vote for the DA.... but if the facts are looked at... the DA has a much better track record. Apartheid will NEVER happen, ever again. Fear of it happening again shouldn't be the reason to not vote for the DA.

      sipho.sebokasi - 2012-09-20 12:06

      @wesley I cant speak about such things i fear for my life. I am very unhappy about where I live I say. R17000 would help a lot.

      peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-20 12:58

      Dearest Sipho, thanks for stirring the pot. Seeing that you live in such terrible conditions,you still have the luxury and the time to spend on a computer reading the news and writing sad stories. Well done. now get on with your job which is NOT on the mine you scoundral.

      sipho.sebokasi - 2012-09-20 13:06

      We dont work today. We left to my sister, safer here. Sorry if i upset you, my nephew is helping me bring my view across. I dont like violence.

  • bullardx - 2012-09-20 11:23

    i knew it.....see with a 22% increase that is unsustainable there fefinately will be a loss of jobs... a huge loss

  • pjbadenhorst - 2012-09-20 11:43

    Of course it'll lead to copycat demands. If only the future gangs of strikers could focus their destructive energies on ridding us of things like E-Toll gantries. That may actually gain the public sympathy for their plight.

  • flysouth - 2012-09-20 11:51

    An inevitable consequence of greed by strikers. Anyone could see this coming. Do the miners think that their employers are not going to react by pruning costs etc after having been blackmailed into paying such an increase? Economic reality dictates that there must now be massive cutbacks wherever possible within the mine's operations. Operations that could have continued at a marginal profit or even a slight loss, can no longer be tolerated when massive additional amounts must be paid weekly in increased wages. The bottom line means of course that whilst a salary of R12500 sounds fine, there will be fewer and fewer workers who will see any benefit from this, since many will be retrenched and can go sit at home with nothing! Ultimately, as in the case with Britain's vast and nationalised coal-mining industry, excessive wage demands lead to the shut down of the entire industry and then all jobs are lost.

      hlawulani.mabunda.9 - 2012-09-20 12:39

      yha,i disagree with you

  • david.coetzee.77 - 2012-09-20 11:52

    Just wait till the mines start mechanising - Then you will hear the true cry of these miners.

  • robert.dood.1 - 2012-09-20 11:56

    For heavens sake of your shafts are not profitable take a business decision and close them. Don't abuse your employees to keep them going.

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-09-20 12:02

    Wonder how much of this is to try scare workers into being faithful to NUM. as for this: "It had also cancelled plans for a new development, costing a potential 3 000 jobs." Gee - I cannot possibly thing why they'd have to cancel new development, not like their wage bill has increased or anything.....

      merven.halo - 2012-09-20 13:22

      New development means more workers (3000) that would want 22% more a month. Example: 3000 x R4500 = R13.5 million extra a month.

      merven.halo - 2012-09-20 13:23

      Jip, New development means more workers (3000) that would want 22% more a month. Example: 3000 x R4500 = R13.5 million extra a month.

  • nathi.mlotshwa.71 - 2012-09-20 12:20

    I only hope tht 22% is worth some of our brothers jobs.

  • philip.vde - 2012-09-20 12:47

    How can a rock driller earn R17 000 a month ???? There is people in the IT sector that does not even earn that !!!

  • exile13 - 2012-09-20 13:36

    Cause and Effect...

  • John - 2012-09-20 14:00

    And this is precisely why we ask that jobs be available to educated people! This is what happens when uneducated rabble are running the show. Unfortunately you can't help those that DON'T WANT to be helped.

  • gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-09-20 14:16

    I am sure SARS is fuming as well. What will they say to the government when they can't collect enough revenue to sustain the gravy train? The party is about to end-not because of apartheid but because of greed, incompetence and stupidity

  • murray.archibald.52 - 2012-09-20 15:45

    Malema rush to miners now ? Not !!! Can you explain to them how you helped with the economic freedom to no jobs !!! Not !!!!! Have you sold your Range Rover and Sandton house to spread economic freedom with you brothers - Not !!! Score out of 10 - have not left zero yet which is what the miners pay cheque will say this month and many more to come. Sad

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-09-20 16:28

    That's business - inputs vs outputs - too much out and not enough in means reducing whats going out and in SA mines labour costs are just too high and productivity just too low. An Australian Rock Drill Operator earns >x10 what the SA Rock Drill Operator earns HOWEVER the australian RDO is x20 more productive inother words where a SA RDO drills 1m the australian counterpart drills 20m. Do the sums and you will sadly see that the SA labour intensive mines have just too much labour and they are just not productive enough.....this is the reality the mining industry and our economy in general is faced with....!

  • john.cryink - 2012-09-20 19:19

    What was the expectation when AMCU / NUM/ workers theselves demand an increase that is to high it should have been expected.

  • Blixum - 2012-09-21 08:33

    What NUM is not saying is that it is worried about the loss of membership fees from 10000 of its members. Hahahaha.

  • david.phillips.583234 - 2012-09-21 09:44

    South Africa, a piss poor state of affairs. Stop bitching, you voted the cANCer into power, reap what you sow........

  • norman.depluhm - 2012-09-21 12:31

    When will someone point out the fact that (if there were such a common reference to the group) the white masses mostly earn less than R10k after deductions too. That is the nature of supply and demand, it is not only to do with products, it is to do with people...

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-21 15:54

    Well we all knew that was going to happen, the problem Unionists were caught napping and they dont educate their members. If they were on the job, they could have explained to the miners that this was not a good time to demand such a huge increase but would negotiate the best you could for them. No, too busy creeping up ANC'S backside round election time. Now after all this, blood has been shed and so will jobs. Those miners who will be lucky enough to retain their jobs should feel guilt everything they touch their money, for the miners who will be retrenched and those who died for them. All this could have been handled in a much better manner. I suggest you send for Malema when the retrenchments are due out. Lets see what this messiah has to say to them now.

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