Samancor Chrome Limited has cited operational reasons for preparing to retrench nearly 3,000 employees. Workers organized by the National Metalworkers Union of South Africa (NUMSA) are preparing to resist the retrenchments.
Over 3,000 workers in South Africa may be retrenched by Samancor Chrome Limited, a company involved in mining and smelting chrome ore. Samancor, with a capacity to produce 1.2 million tons, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of chrome alloys, including ferrochrome and chromite ore, which are used to give stainless steel its resistance to corrosion. South Africa supplies 30% of the global demand for ferrochrome.
Workers organized by the National Metalworkers Union of South Africa (NUMSA) are preparing to resist the retrenchments.
Samancor claims that due to adverse circumstances, the company is revising its production for 2020 downwards – chromite ore by roughly 29% and ferrochrome by 20%. In accordance with this plan, the company has initiated the retrenchment process, which “may affect 2,438 employees at the company’s mining operations and 599 employees at its smelters,” according to its statement.
The sector in the country has been badly affected due to declining ferrochrome prices and a major loadshedding crisis due to the financial stress on the state’s electricity company, Eskom.
On January 23, Samancor released a statement saying that 595 of the employees whose jobs are on the line in its smelters are members of the bargaining unit of NUMSA, which has been served Section 189 notices by the company.
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