Solidarity worried over job losses


Trade union Solidarity has expressed concern over more job losses in the platinum mining sector following the closure of the Everest mine, near Lydenburg, in Mpumalanga.

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6860 2010.6.9 Aurora mine: Grootvlei workers are still not being paid. The pump station is all that stands between the Witwatersrand and an enviromental disaster, yet there is no money to repair and maintain equipment and workers have only been paid one week in the last thirteen. Picture: Cara Viereckl

“The closure of this mine was announced barely a week after Aquarius Platinum had closed its Marikana shaft in Kroondal,” union spokesman Louis Pretorius said on Thursday.

Everest's closure was not permanent, and was due to operational issues and the low platinum price. If the platinum price rose, the mine would again become financially viable.

Pretorius called on Emgodini, Everest mine's operator, to introduce a social plan to stop 1500 people from losing their jobs and help workers to apply for other jobs in the mining sector.

The trade union welcomed Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu's announcement that a task team would be established to try and save jobs in the platinum industry. This process should be carried out quickly and transparently, Pretorius said. - Sapa

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