Union vows to protect members at Lily's sister mine

Cape Town - Trade union Solidarity said it would not allow its members who are employees at the Barbrook gold mine in Mpumalanga - which was placed under business rescue in December - to suffer the same fate as workers at their sister company Lily Mine. 

According to Solidarity workers at Lily Mine, which was closed following a mining accident in February last year and subsequently placed under business rescue, are still waiting for their severance packages. Their salaries are also still outstanding. 

When Lily Mine closed, 130 of its workers moved over to Barbrook while the remainder opted for retrenchment packages. 

Connie Prinsloo, deputy general secretary of the mining industry at Solidarity, said in a statement Barbrook mine employees only received a portion of their salaries for November 2016 and no salaries for December 2016. 

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union made similar allegations in a statement issued late last year. Some 780 mineworkers at Barbrook have been affected by the business rescue decision. 

“We will support our members as much as possible and act in their best interests,” said Prinsloo.

“Solidarity will not allow the Barbrook employees to be deceived by false pretences and promises, as in Lily’s case.” 

Fin24 earlier reported that employees at Barbrook were to meet with the company’s management team and the appointed business rescue practitioner on January 11 to hear how the process going forward would affect them. 

Sturns Business Rescue Practitioners and Turnaround Specialists issued a notice informing employees of the meeting, which will take place at the offices of the holding company Vantage Goldfields in Nelspruit. 

At the meeting the business rescue process, the difference between liquidation and business rescue and the financial prospects of Barbrook will be explained to employees. 

Solidarity said in its statement that it regards the upcoming meeting with the business rescue practitioner in a very serious light.

The union will, therefore, also conduct a visit to the mine on January 11 to meet with management and the appointed business rescue practitioner with regard to the future of the mine as well as that of Solidarity's members. 

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