Glencore’s Koornfontein coal miners strike over inadequate compensation

20 October 2014 (Last Updated October 20th, 2014 18:30)

Around 500 mine workers at Glencore's Koornfontein coal mine in South Africa have gone on a strike due to inadequate compensation offered by the company for the planned job cuts.

Around 500 mine workers at Glencore's Koornfontein coal mine in South Africa have gone on a strike due to inadequate compensation offered by the company for the planned job cuts.

The strike started on Friday under instructions of the National Union of Minworkers (NUM), following failed talks between the union and the government mediator, reported Reuters.

Glencore South African operations spokesman was quoted by Bloomberg, citing an email saying: "The strike by the NUM follows the decision by the company to offer retrenchment packages to employees as a result of restructuring at the mine, following difficult market conditions."

"Glencore is paying NUM members at Koornfontein mine one week of service per year and in other operations it is paying three weeks." 

According to the NUM, Glencore offers more compensation in South Africa than elsewhere in the world.

NUM told the news agency: "NUM is embarking on a strike because Glencore is paying NUM members at Koornfontein mine one week of service per year and in other operations it is paying three weeks."

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg had previously noted that although the coal demand is healthy it is also over supplied, so that the delivery of coal from South Africa to European ports has declined recently.

"Glencore has undertaken to explore the redeployment of some of the employees to other Glencore Coal operations where vacancies exist," Maqetuka added.

Meanwhile, NUM regional secretary Stanley Lebelo noted that the union is also planning to down tools in Glencore's other operations.

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