NUM general
secretary Frans
Johannesburg, South Africa — 02 October 2013 – Judgment has been reserved by the Labour Court in South Africa in an application against the retrenchment procedures employed by the world’s largest mining company, Anglo Platinum  (Amplats).

Fin24 reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which brought the application, said judgment had been reserved until next week.

Spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the union had sought legal recourse because it considered the mining company’s retrenchment procedure unfair. It also believed that Amplats had reneged on some of the conditions.

Amplats’ spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said the company was aware of the urgent application.
“We have embarked upon an extensive consultation process and have discharged all our obligations under Section 189,” she said.

Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act is the one that deals with retrenchment processes.

“The company will however continue to engage with NUM through established channels.”

In January Amplats announced that 14 000 jobs would be cut as part of its restructuring process. On Friday, it said retrenchment avoidance measures, like redeployment into vacancies across the group, voluntary severance, and early retirements had resulted in a reduction of the number of employees to be retrenched to 3 300.

According to the SA Labour Guide’s website, companies found not to have followed fair procedures for retrenchments can be ordered to compensate the retrenched workers.
Such compensation could be up to one year’s normal remuneration for each retrenched worker.

On Monday, Business Day quoted NUM general secretary Frans Baleni as saying that the union had decided to pursue the matter in court rather than through industrial action, but had not ruled out the possibility of a strike.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.