South Africa News

Untu concerned over coal mining job losses

The United National Transport Union (Untu) has flagged its concerns about a growing number of retrenchments in the coal mining industry.

This follows reports that more than 35,000 jobs are on the line in the sector, with mining houses Glencore and Seriti Power possibly headed for massive job losses.

It’s understood bottlenecks in the logistics sector are among reasons why some mining giants are facing economic headwinds.

Transport union Untu said possible job losses are especially worrying in provinces such as Mpumalanga where the lion’s share of mining activity is.

If Glencore and Seriti go ahead with retrenchments, Untu said this won’t bode well for the country’s already high unemployment rate of 32.6%.

Untu spokesperson Atenkosi Plaatjie said the impact of Transnet’s poor performance on the mining industry also has dire implications for the broader economy.

She said the state-owned company is too big to fail.

“Organised labour is committed to being part of an inclusive stakeholder approach to find immediate and practical solutions that can be implemented to reverse the situation at Transnet.”

Despite the looming job losses in the two companies, the mining sector contributed positively to employment figures in the second quarter of the year.

Stats SA said the formal economy created 39,000 jobs between April and June.

-EWN

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