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Miners take battle over R26m in unpaid salaries to court

File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Published Aug 21, 2020

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Mineworkers owed over R26 million in severance pay, salaries and allowances are set to take their battle to the North West High Court in Mmabatho next week.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Friday expressed its disappointment in the non-payment of the workers’ severance pay, salaries and allowances by Kumbula Trading, which was a sub-contractor to Dikwena Chrome (formerly known as Hernic Ferrochrome).

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According to Numsa, the workers’ troubles started in December last year when Dikwena Chrome notified Kumbula Trading about its intention to discontinue the contract.

The union said Kumbula Trading then failed to release employees’ salaries and related allowances for the period November and December 2019.

Kumbula Trading is heading to the high court next Thursday to seek a final liquidation order, which has already been granted provisionally.

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"We condemn the unscrupulous management of Kumbula Trading. They have the audacity to run away and leave employees in the lurch whilst they continue to live large at the expense of workers and their families,” Numsa said in a statement.

Kumbula Trading owes workers in excess of R26m in severance pay, salaries and allowances and they are running away from paying it, according to Numsa.

The union accused the company of failing to pay its members despite having been paid R31.6m by Samancor in order to pay workers.

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Numsa is also demanding proof of payment from Samancor, which bought Hernic Ferrochrome, ahead of its planned demonstration outside the high court on August 27.

Kumbula Trading promised to pay the workers the money owed no later than January but failed to do so.

Numsa described Kumbula Trading’s actions as a flagrant and reckless behaviour despite having an agreement sealed at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration-facilitated consultation process in February.

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