Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday it is extremely shocked to hear that Lonmin [JSE:LON] is considering the possibility of cutting 3 500 jobs.
Livhuwani Mammburu, acting NUM national spokesperson, told Fin24 on Friday that, although such a job cut is not official yet, it has been mentioned as a possibility to one of the union's officials.
"As the NUM, we are going to fight against any job losses. It is very painful to see that these mining companies make the decisions of cutting jobs easily," said Mammburu.
According to NUM, the platinum sector had cut 35 000 jobs since 2012 "and it is time to join forces to end this bloodbath".
He added that NUM has not yet been officially consulted by Lonmin to inform the union what exactly it is planning.
"We wish that these job losses can be avoided, and as the NUM we will do our best to engage the company to save jobs," said Mammburu.
On Thursday, Lonmin, the world's second-largest platinum producer, confirmed it is in talks with unions and employees with the aim to cut 3 500 jobs at its mines in South Africa, in an attempt to withstand low platinum prices.
The company said it hopes to reach the job cuts by a voluntary process and keep forced job cuts as a last resort.
"The mining industry is going through another challenging economic cycle and we need to make difficult decisions to maintain the resilience of our business and protect employment," chief executive Ben Magara said in a statement.
"Nobody wants this, but we all have to protect the future of the business for as many employees as possible."
Lonmin employes about 37 000 people, including contractors.
Like its peers it has been battered by a steep fall in platinum prices in the last year.
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