Lonmin to cut jobs unless strikes ends

Lonmin to cut jobs unless strikes ends

Johannesburg – Lonmin said it will have to cut jobs unless workers end a strike that has crippled the company’s South African platinum mines for more than 15 weeks.

“The business will have to be restructured with a consequence on job losses” if there’s further delay, chief executive Ben Magara said today on a conference call.

The third-largest platinum producer appealed directly to workers by text message and voicemail after the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union rejected the industry’s pay offer this month.

Lonmin has “overwhelming support” from employees for a return to work from May 14, Magara said.

“We will have a better sense of the take-up towards the end of this month and whether we have the correct mix of skills to enable us to safely restart operations,” he said.

Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin have lost 17.5 billion rand in revenue because of the country’s longest mining strike and workers have forfeited 7.8 billion rand in wages, according to a website the companies run.

The AMCU wants a 12,500 rand basic monthly wage plus benefits by 2017, while companies want cash allowances included.

Lonmin has skilled workers in place to resume processing in May before an expected ramp-up of output in June, Magara said.

About 9 percent to 11 percent of employees reported for duty on May 9, Vice-President for Public Affairs Lerato Molebatsi said.

Threat of Violence

Threats of violence may slow any return to work.

The National Union of Mineworkers, a minority union, said one of its members and his wife were killed today with machetes at Lonmin’s Eastern Platinum mines…


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