NUM PWV region said it was highly perturbed and disappointed by the decision by Gold Fields’ South Deep mine to retrench about 1 500 employees. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

CAPE TOWN - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) PWV region said it was highly perturbed and disappointed by the decision taken by Gold Fields’ South Deep mine to retrench about 1 500 employees with the intention of saving costs. 

The union said on Monday that this cannot happen at the expense of poor workers.

In a statement, NUM said it was worried about the continuing trend of mining companies retrenching mineworkers in SA. 

"This is a bloodbath of job losses in the mining industry. Mineworkers have become the sacrificial lamb in the name of profit."

"In April this year, South Deep Management went silently and retrenched over 300 workers without consulting us as a trade union and they are doing the same six months later. We have a great interest as a union to save our members’ jobs", NUM said in a statement.

NUM said they are calling on the company to reconsider its decision, and would like them to consult with the union to find an "amicable solution" that will benefit both parties. 

"This harsher decision pushed more than 3 000 workers to embark on an industrial action last week."

The NUM represents about 80% of the mine’s 3 614 workers and 2 214 contractors.

"We are further calling upon the Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe to intervene and provide direction to save jobs. It cannot be correct that in just less than a month after the government hosted a Job Summit to create and save jobs, workers find themselves being subjected to the sea of poverty," the union said.

"We believe there must be a way of dealing with this challenge without resorting to drastic measures, and we are prepared to work together with the company in finding a better solution to this challenge."

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