South African coal miner Exxaro plans to cut up to 565 office jobs as it tries to cut costs in the face of depressed prices and the loss of a major contract, the Solidarity trade union said on Tuesday.
“Exxaro served a Section 189 on us on Monday indicating that they will cut jobs at head office and support and shared services,” Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis told Reuters, referring to the regulatory procedure companies have to follow before they proceed with lay-offs.
Solidarity is affected because it represents mostly skilled workers. Exxaro was not immediately available to comment.
Du Plessis said the proposed job cuts were austerity measures triggered by the global market slowdown which has hit coal prices and also the loss of a contract to supply power utility Eskom with coal from Exxaro’s Arnot mine.
South Africa’s mining industry has been shedding jobs as costs soar and prices fall, angering unions and the government. The country’s unemployment rate is around 25 percent and accelerating inflation has been eroding household incomes.