Lonmin restructuring sees 5 000 jobs cut

Rustenburg – More that 5 000 people have taken voluntary retrenchment packages at Lonmin following a restructuring process, the company said on Thursday.

Company spokeswoman Sue Vey said a total of 5108 people left the company, while further retrenchments are to follow.

“They took VSPs [voluntary severance package], early retirements or have resigned of their own accord. Another 75 are being retrenched this week as they were not willing to accept the alternative options open to them, therefore a total of 5,183 people will have left Lonmin by 4 March [initially we thought we would have to lose 6000 people],” said Vey.

She said 1 388 employees have been “re-skilled” and redeployed elsewhere at Lonmin.

“We had a Section 189 closeout meeting with unions on Monday. We announced at the meeting that we managed to reduce headcount by 5108 [2979 own employees and 2129 contractors]. The 2979 own employees includes 517 [who left due to] natural attrition.”

She said in total 6 571 employees have been affected by the restructuring process.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) this week said it was delighted to announce that of the 6 000 employees who were at risk of being retrenched, they were able to reduce the figure to 87 employees.

“Lonmin had announced that 4 500 of its full-time employees and 1 500 contractors would be retrenched. The process which was expected to take two months, had run over for a lengthy seven months of which is a first in South Africa,” the union said in a statement.

“The process was divided into three sections namely the voluntary severance package, re-skilling, and redeployment of workers. The total number of employees who have taken VSPs to date are 2,979.”

Amcu said the implications of losing so many jobs was devastating and would have a dire impact on the economy.

“Although we pride ourselves on the amount of jobs we have saved, we would have been more content knowing that no jobs were lost instead. We as Amcu will continue to fight for saving jobs and a decent living wage.”