Harmony closer to a solution

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By SAPA

Johannesburg - Harmony Gold and unions are closer to finding a solution to re-opening the Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville, the mining company said on Tuesday.

Harmony met the National Union of Mineworkers, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity and Uasa on Tuesday.

They discussed the situation in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, which codifies the requirements for retrenchment.

The mine said the unions accepted its reasons for issuing the section 189 which could lead to the possible closure of the mine and retrenchment of all employees.

Harmony chief executive Graham Briggs said: “The mine remains closed until an agreement has been reached, and all the conditions of re-opening it have been agreed upon and committed to by all the unions and other stakeholders involved.”

Kusasalethu had been temporary closed due to safety and security reasons. Harmony and the unions would meet again on February 6. Bilateral discussion between the parties would continue in the interim, the company said.

On January 3, the mine gates were closed and workers were told that the mine was shut down until further notice. About 500 miners were denied access to the hostel. Many slept outside the gates.

The company closed its operations at the end of December, but said it would continue to pay the basic salaries of workers.

According to the company's website about 5200 employees would be affected if the mine closed permanently. - Sapa

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