Kumba fires 120 employees

2012-10-15 20:22

Johannesburg - About 120 striking workers at Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] Sishen mine, in the Northern Cape, have been dismissed, the company said on Monday.

Mine spokesperson Gert Schoeman said the illegal strikers, who had occupied the mine since October 3, had not left the mine or reported for their disciplinary hearings by 11am on Monday, as instructed.

"As a result, they have been dismissed and criminal charges have been laid against them," Schoeman said in a statement.

"A few strikers, who are not part of the group continuing the illegal occupation of the mine, are attending the disciplinary hearings to present reasons why they should not be dismissed."

Schoeman said the strikers occupying the mine were also served with a Labour Court order on Monday ordering them to immediately leave the premises and to release equipment they had.

They were not allowed to be within 500m of the company's premises. If they failed to leave, the police would be called to remove them, he added.

Last week, about 300 miners on the night shift stopped working and seized a fleet of heavy mining equipment worth R3.3bn to block an entrance to a mine pit.

The workers wanted a monthly salary increase of R15 000 for all Kumba employees, over and above what they already earned. The company said although the workers had threatened to destroy equipment, only limited damage had been caused. 

Schoeman said the strikers had seized the bulk of the mine's heavy equipment fleet and remained on top of the mine dumps.

Production at the mine was suspended on October 4 and the company was losing about 120 000 tonnes in production per day, Schoeman said. The mine concluded a wage settlement with its recognised unions two months ago, Schoeman said.

It had a two-year wage agreement in place, concluded two months ago with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Solidarity. The agreement made provision for a total cost-to-company increase of between nine and 12 percent.

The company said 95% of the illegal strikers were NUM members, who wanted to represent themselves.

  • alex.richards.94064 - 2012-10-16 09:16

    This is the thanks for the massive bonuses last year?

      denis.dendrinos - 2012-10-16 10:12

      Well now they've lost those salaries, the awesome bonus' the dividens payouts and affected the share price and earning power of those still employed and caused damages to SA's reputation and economy! All round a job WELL DONE!

  • marthinus.oosthuizen.7 - 2012-10-16 10:09

    Why must investors invest in South Africa?

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-10-16 10:15

      Because Joexxi, regardless of what anyone says, there is ALOT of money to be made here... The question is why should investors risk their money in South Africa but hiring a South African workforce? And since we have such a protectionist labour movement which forces people to hiring south africans, who then think they have a right to demand whatever they want, Investors WONT invest because its too risky to hire South Africans!!!! AND we wonder why we have such a high unemployment!!! Greedy sods, fire them all

  • krad.knight.56 - 2012-10-16 10:50

    well done Kumba !

  • jan.vos.353 - 2012-10-16 11:18

    Use rubberbullets and teargas.....or even better, get the fire dept to shoot them with the watergun. Bunch of NUM idiots.

  • francois.v.eeden.3 - 2012-10-16 11:55

    zero tolerance...this is killing investor confidence. Hats off to Kumba. Zuma really needs to step up.

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