Glencore must prioritise workers - NUM | Fin24
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Glencore must prioritise workers - NUM

Mar 14 2015 18:00

Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Saturday, urged mining company Glencore to prioritise the needs of its employees and reconsider closing its Optimum operations.

The union said in a statement, it had marched to the company's Johannesburg offices in Melrose Arch to hand over a memorandum of understanding.

In the document the union said Glencore's plans to shut-down part of its Optimum coal operations would have serious implications on the plight of its employees, communities around the mine and the country as a whole.

The union demanded that Glencore surrender its operating licence to a company willing to operate the mine under its current conditions.

It also demanded that the company involve the department of mineral resources in discussions, to assist in finding a solution.

The company was given seven days to respond.

Glencore spokesperson Gugulethu Maqetuka confirmed receiving the document.

"We do confirm that the NUM came and handed over an MOU. We have undertaken to respond to them within the allocated time," he said.

In January, Glencore announced that it would close some operations at Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga due to financial hardship. This would reduce its overall production in South Africa by at least five million tons per annum, Maqetuka said at the time.

"The proposed closure of these operations would affect approximately  1070 employees," he said.

The proposal was initiated due to ongoing financial hardship at Optimum arising from difficult market conditions and the continued deterioration in the export coal price.

Should the economic conditions improve, the company would consider re-opening the operations.

Optimum would retain the underground mining operations and sufficient processing capacity to ensure continued supply of coal to Hendrina Power Station, it said.


num  |  glencore  |  johannesburg  |  mining


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