AngloGold Ashanti to cut 900 jobs

2014-11-11 16:31

AngloGold Ashanti plans to cut staff through voluntary severance packages as it feels the pinch of lower gold prices and rising costs.

A union source close to negotiations with the company said 1 200 positions were affected in South Africa, with AngloGold considering moving 300 staff into other positions and laying off 900 employees.

The company, which has about 32 000 employees in South Africa, declined to provide details.

“We have offered voluntary severance packages to staff. This is part of the self-help measures we announced at our quarterly results to reduce costs and enhance efficiency,” spokesperson Chris Nthite said.

AngloGold reported a sharp fall in third-quarter earnings earlier this month in the face of a lower gold price, inflationary pressures and higher tax charges, and pledged “self-help measures” to cut costs.

The company said in an internal memo obtained by Reuters that all employees could apply for severance packages.

Applications will open today and the company wants to cut jobs in over-staffed areas, with a preference given to employees who are older than 55 years old, according to the memo.

The planned cuts could provide food for thought for trade unions ahead of wage talks for 2015.

“As unions we now have to seriously consider our demands so we don’t aggravate a situation that can lead to more job losses,” the union source said.

Harmony Gold said earlier this month it might have to cut jobs as it contends with depressed prices and operational problems.

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