Source: Jacarandafm

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) in condemning the decision by Sibanye-Stillwater to retrench about 4,000 mineworkers. Sibanye-Stillwater intends to retrench 3,107 mineworkers and 915 contractors.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s continuous retrenchment of workers despite favourable gold prices highlights its relentless pursuit of cost-cutting measures at the expense of its workforce. The impending retrenchments paints a grim picture of brutality and heartlessness, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the future of our members and their dependents.

For more than 10 years now, Sibanye-Stillwater has callously disrupted the livelihood of thousands of mineworkers through retrenchments. This assault on livelihoods of mineworkers has been concealed by some progressive wage agreements they sign with trade unions in the sector. It is a trick of keeping operational costs stagnant: increase wages for workers but reduce the number of workers in your employ.

That Sibanye-Stillwater has been retrenching almost each year over the past decade, clarifies the main purpose of capitalist corporations. Their purpose and social responsibility are owed not to job preservation or employment creation, but to raking in profits, even if it means at the expense of employment.

The ripple effect of these retrenchments extends beyond the affected employees, impacting entire families and communities who rely on the income of mineworkers for their sustenance. With each retrenchment, the burden on the unemployed grows heavier, exacerbating the challenges faced by those striving to support their families amidst economic uncertainty.

SAFTU stands in solidarity with the affected mineworkers and their families. Furthermore, we encourage them to stop accepting retrenchment packages but to embark on a protracted strike to resist any further culling of jobs.

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