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The National Union Mineworkers (NUM) has noticed the on-going publication of Business Report on the pending Optimum Coal Transaction and the current Competition Commission process. We are gravely concerned about the publication of our “submission” on the acquisition of the relevant assets, at this point, we can only comment or make a further submission to the competition commission or relevant tribunal process. The NUM is however unapologetic about our pursuit for the reinstatement of the retrenched employees at Optimum and protecting the current workers from future retrenchments from the operations (irrespective of who the owners is), as we are of the view that whoever the owner of this asset must comply with the Minerals and Petroleum Development Act 2002. The NUM is extremely worried about the bloodbath of job losses in the mining industry. The unemployment rate is sitting at 25.5% and mineworkers cannot be sacrificed for profits. The NUM would have appreciated an opportunity to contextualise its submission before publishing it, as the retrenchments by Glencore pre and post-disposal retrenchments will never be accepted by the NUM.
The fact that now the operation in question (Optimum Coal) is according to Oakbay Investment CEO Nazeem Howa part of the interim suppliers of coal to Arnot Power Station, also puts us at loggerheads with our members and other employees are facing a bleak future at EXXARO's Arnot Mine (as part of the breakdown of working relationship between ESKOM and EXXARO on Coal prices contracts).
The NUM is extremely worried that thousands of its members and other employees at Exxaro Arnot Coal Mine in Mpumalanga are facing possible job losses after Eskom did not renew the contract with EXXARO Arnot Mine that ended on the 31st of December 2015. We want to put it categorically clear as the NUM that we are not defending or speaking on behalf of the individual mining companies affected, but we are defending thousands of our members who are going to be retrenched because of Eskom's decision not to renew the contracts. NUM is a worker controlled union and we will defend our members who are affected by this decision.
We urge Eskom to resolve its problems or differences with individual mining companies amicably than to take drastic actions that will lead to massive job losses in the mining sector.
For more information, please contact:
Livhuwani Mammburu: Acting NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media