There is a sliver of good news for employees of Sibaye-Stillwater’s gold mining operation after the company revealed it was reducing the number of job cuts it intended to make by around 3000.
Job cuts on the horizon
Back in February of 2019, the mining company announced that it would be restructuring it’s gold mining operations and would cut close to 7000 jobs.
Thankfully, though, after a series of consultations, they have managed to reduce that number significantly.
Even though they will still be shedding close to 3500 jobs and plan to mothball four gold mining shafts, it is not nearly as severe as originally thought.
“We have come through a difficult period, but have strategically positioned the group for the platinum wage negotiations and the integration of Lonmin,” said Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater in a statement.
“We are therefore pleased to have concluded the S189 consultation and successfully reduced the footprint of the operations in a responsible manner and resulted in over 2,650 potential job losses being avoided.”
Still in the firing line
While there is no doubting this is good news, it is important to remember that close to 3500 people are still about to have their livelihoods affected.
“Approximately 3 450 employees finally affected by the restructuring. Voluntary separation, early retirement, and natural attrition accounted for the bulk of the affected jobs, with forced retrenchments limited to approximately 800 employees and 550 contract workers,” the company’s statement continued.
“Although restructuring is a difficult and emotive process, the sustainability of our remaining operations is our primary focus.”
There is also a distinct possibility more mine shafts and jobs could be cut in future, as Sibanye-Stillwater revealed an agreement had been reached with stakeholders to keep certain operations, such as the Driefontein 8 shaft, running only as long as they remained profitable.
And some are still not happy even though the number of job cuts has been drastically reduced.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said Sibanye-Stillwater’s decision to lay off 3,450 workers was another example of mines prioritising profits over jobs. @Fin24 @IndustriALL_GU @ewnreporter @Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/jmhWsU7g6K
— @COSATU Today (@_cosatu) June 6, 2019