Harmony miners plan protests

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Johannesburg - Workers at Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine plan to protest on Thursday against retrenchments and a lock-out from hostels.

On January 3, the mine gates were closed and workers were told that the mine was shut down until further notice. About 500 miners were denied access to the hostel. Many slept outside the gates.

The company closed its operations at the end of December, but said it would continue to pay the basic salaries of workers.

According to the company's website, about 5 200 employees would be affected if the mine closed permanently.

The Business Day recently reported that workers were given until March 7 to resolve their complaints or face retrenchment.

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs warned in an open letter that roleplayers had 60 days to save the mine.

The letter said murder, violence, intimidation and damage to mine property prompted the decision to suspend operations at the mine near Carletonville.

He told Business Day that no company could operate in such an environment.

Unprotected labour action at the mine in October and December caused huge production losses.

The publication said the mine was expected to report a cash operating loss of R150-million for the December quarter, and a negative cash flow of R252-million. - Sapa


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