The plan to shed off 13,000 mining jobs has infuriated South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) which is spoiling for a fight.
The association has vowed to intensify its efforts to stop Impala Platinum Mine from the job cuts.
AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa said the union would monitor the situation closely and do everything possible to exercise the mandate of its members‚ including embarking on industrial action where necessary.
“Losing your job is a harrowing experience – especially in South Africa today with its unemployment rate of 27.2% in the second quarter of this year,” Mathunjwa said on Tuesday at a media briefing on the looming cuts.
Last week the North West Province-based Impala Platinum Mine announced plans to shed as many as 13,000 jobs over two years, a move Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe publicly condemned.
“The mining industry has been seized with optimisation and mechanisation discourse for a while now. It is becoming clear‚ through heightened retrenchment efforts‚ that the sector is bent on changing mining systems to use a lean workforce towards hyper profits‚” Mathunjwa warned.
He added: “AMCU will participate in the retrenchment consultations at Impala‚ and we will do our best to save as many jobs as possible. We will spare no resource in our struggle to protect the livelihoods of mineworkers.”