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JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday it was worried about the fate of its members at JIC Mining Services after business rescue practitioners at troubled Optimum coal mine served the contractor with a letter suspending its services.

Optimum is one of the businesses owned by the controversial Gupta family which have been placed under rescue. 

On Wednesday NUM said the decision to suspend the services of JIC, a contractor at Optimum, would affect 480 workers.

 "It is important to highlight that JIC Mining Services is a subsidiary of Tegeta Exploration as such it is compelling that the business rescue practitioners treat employees of JIC Mining Services equal to employees of both Optimum and Koornfontein mines," NUM said.

Optimum and Koornfontein are also owned by Tegeta Exploration and Resources.

READ: NUM says workers at Gupta-owned coal mines have not been paid for March

"When Optimum was placed under business rescue process ... NUM viewed that as a move that will bring financial stability and allow workers to continue to sell their labour (but) it seems like the business rescue practitioners sees that as a business opportunity as there is no substantial progress," the labour union said.

NUM said workers at JIC had not been paid their salaries for the last two months and called for a rescue plan "before the company is liquidated since the sequences of events are leading to that direction".

African News Agency (ANA