NUM opposing Kumba Iron Ore’s retrenchment of 175 miners

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SELLWANE KHAKHAU

The National Union Mineworkers (NUM) has threatened to go on strike should Kumba Iron Ore proceed with the retrenchment of 175 miners at two of their operations, Kolomela and Sishen respectively- both in the Northern Cape.

This comes after the mining comapny served the union with Section 189 notice of the Labour Relations Act, last week, to retrench workers.

The union’s Chief Negotiator at the mine, Lucas Phiri, says they are prepared to fight tooth and nail to ensure that the miners are not retrenched unreasonably.

“We will fight this battle until our members are back at work, or if they do get retrenched, we will ensure that they are retrenched with good benefits. There are two options. One is to approach the CCMA. If we don’t agree, the other option would be to serve the same company with a notice to embark on a protected strike, where the company will not make any production at all, as a result of this action,” he said.

Police in the Northern Cape say should the possible strike by miners of Kumba Iron Ore call for their intervention, they’ll respond swiftly, and prevent the situation from spiralling out of control. Police spokesperson, Dimakatso Mooi, says they will keep a close eye on the situation, should it happen. This comes after National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) threatened to go on strike, as Kumba plans to retrenchment 175 miners at two of their operations- Kolomela and Sishen respectively, both in the Northern Cape

“As the police, our role is to ensure safety and security in the province. Should such incidents occur, we do have trained members who will be deployed to the area to monitor the situation. So we there will be a high presence of police should the situation get serious," she said.

National Union Mineworkers ’s Chief Negotiator at Kumba, Lucas Phiri, says they will meet with shop stewards of the two mines tomorrow (15 July) to discuss possible negotiations, which they will then present to the Kumba. This as their last resort to halt the retrenchment. 

sellwane@centralmediagroup.co.za