Mine is set to lay off 800 workers

JSE-LISTED Simmer & Jack Mines will lay off 865 workers at its Buffelsfontein gold mine, trade union Solidarity said yesterday.

JSE-LISTED Simmer & Jack Mines will lay off 865 workers at its Buffelsfontein gold mine, trade union Solidarity said yesterday.

"The majority of the employees who could be affected by the planned retrenchments work at BGM's No 10 shaft complex," Solidarity said.

It said it was issued with a Section 189 notice by Simmers on Friday.

Simmer & Jack Mines' human resources executive Vic Hoops said Solidarity's statement was "not 100percent correct".

He said that although a Section 189 notice had been issued, this did not mean 865 workers would be retrenched.

"We have indicated to organised labour that we are going to close shafts 10 and 12 and in that process jobs will be affected.

"However, we have started negotiations and consultations exploring all avoidance measures to try to minimise and even prevent retrenchments."

He said one of the solutions would be to replace the contractors with employees.

In its statement, Solidarity said the latest retrenchments would not be the first at the mine and that Simmer had initiated a large-scale process of retrenchment there over the past year.

In August last year, the company had announced plans to lay off 2500 employees.

"Although these retrenchments could have been limited to a large extent, 130 permanent employees, 222 contract workers and 565 labour hire employees were laid off in the process," Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said.

The union said the continual retrenchments and plans for retrenchments at BGM had put employees under immense pressure.

In the meantime, the union cautioned that Simmer's loyalty to its older assets was waning.

The company planned to implement the retrenchments by the end of next month and the first consultation round was held yesterday, Kleynhans said. - Sapa

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