By Oliver Kazunga
Matabeleland North-based Turk Mine has terminated employment contracts for an unspecified number of workers on fixed term contracts while some on permanent contracts have been placed on two months unpaid leave.
The gold mining company has cited production concerns.
According to a memorandum addressed to all employees dated November 1, 2017, referenced “Special Measures to avoid retrenchment,” the firm’s mine manager Mr Luckson Manda said prior to June 2017, they were targeting to produce 650 tonnes of ore from underground but failed to meet the target.
“We further revised the target to 450 tonnes, which we again failed to meet. We tried to augment the tonnage with Iron Duke. It is common cause that we are currently mining and hosting 250 tonnes per day, which can be processed by one mill.
“In this regard, management has taken a decision to stop the other two mills with immediate effect. What this means is that employees will be affected as the current staff compliment was designed for 650 tonnes milled.”
Mr Manda said companies can institute measures to avoid retrenchment in terms of section 12D (2) of the Labour Act.
“As such management has taken a decision as follows: some employees on fixed-term contracts shall receive notice of termination of their employment contracts starting today (November 1, 2017); some employees on permanent contracts shall be placed on two months unpaid leave effective November 1, 2017,” he said, adding that it was their belief that the above measures will see production moving on an upward growth trajectory starting January next year.
Contacted for comment, Mr Manda referred all questions to the mine’s chief executive officer, Mr Jackson Murehwa.
However, Mr Murehwa who requested written questions had not responded to an e-mail from this paper by the time of going to print yesterday.
In June this year, Turk Mine did not renew contracts of about 70 fixed-term employees.
At the time, Mr Murehwa said they could not renew the contracts of the 70 workers as their contracts had expired in May following the completion of the work they had been hired for. The Chronicle