HomeBase MetalsAnglo American and Anglo Platinum planning retrenchments

Anglo American and Anglo Platinum planning retrenchments

Gideon du Plessis,
Deputy General
Secretary, Solidarity
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 July 2009 – Anglo Platinum “’ the world’s largest platinum producer “’ and its parent company, mining giant Anglo American are reported to be planning to implement a second wave of retrenchments, says trade union Solidarity.

Revealing this in an announcement here, the trade union expressed the belief that the company’s plans to implement further drastic retrenchments showed that it had a serious lack of faith in the future. These plans came in the wake of more than 11 000 retrenchments at Anglo Platinum since the end of last year.

Solidarity claimed that was rumoured that Anglo American planned to cut the personnel at its South African head office by 25%. The Anglo Platinum head office allegedly had to be reduced by 35% by December 2009.

“Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll will announce the decision early in August,” the union statement said.

According to Anglo Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau, 11 931 workers have already been dismissed since the last part of 2008, when Anglo Platinum started its retrenchment process.

Meanwhile, the Anglo Platinum head office in Johannesburg was already cut from 701 to 583 in December last year. According to Anglo Platinum, good progress has been made in increasing production by dismissing employees in order to get in line with lowered production targets. The Blesbok shaft in Rustenburg was placed on basic maintenance earlier this year, and Nicolau has now indicated that two additional shafts will follow the same route.

“Workers and trade unions support Anglo American in its opposition against Xstrata’s takeover bid, but this position might be reconsidered if Anglo continues its railroading tactics and keeps on dismissing employees,” Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis warned

“Solidarity is concerned about the process now moving to the head offices. This is an indication that middle and top management are starting to suffer. and that the companies are exhibiting a short-term survival strategy. Mining is a long-term business, and dismissing employees to such a drastic extent is indicative of a lack of faith in the future,” it added.