Lonmin planned to retrench about 150 managers at its operations in Rustenburg, the platinum producer said yesterday.
The company said it had made significant progress in its review of its operating model and management structure, which was part of a renewal plan announced last October. This is part of a strategy aimed at achieving a sustainable business in an environment of weak global market conditions and high and rising input costs.
It is now in consultation with the National Union of Mineworkers, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity and Uasa, as well as non-unionised workers, on a new operating structure.
Sue Vey, the spokeswoman for Lonmin, said a meeting between the unions and management was adjourned yesterday to continue today.
She added that Lonmin did not intend to lay off lower-level workers at its operations.
This claim contrasts with moves by Anglo American Platinum, which announced in January that it planned to retrench up to 14 000 workers as part of a restructuring.
In a notice to unions, Lonmin said employees in categories F, E, D and C would be affected by the retrenchment. These categories are for senior positions.
Lonmin said: “All parties are mindful of the need to preserve jobs wherever possible and manage the process with sensitivity. The company is engaging with its affected unionised employees through their trade unions, as well as non-unionised employees, as required by the labour legislation, to consult on ways to minimise the impact of restructuring and redundancies that may flow from it.”
Last October, Lonmin sketched plans to retrench an undisclosed number of its 28 000 employees early this year after being crippled by a five-week-long strike over wages that erupted in violence at its Marikana operation.
It said a restructuring at Marikana was on the cards as the firm needed to cut costs and find ways to boost revenue.
Lonmin lost 110 000 ounces of production during the strike.
The shares leapt 3.64 percent to R47.53 on the JSE yesterday.