Mining and trading giant Glencore (LON:GLEN) said Wednesday is slashing close to 380 jobs at its Optimum Coal subsidiary in South Africa after it shut down some operations in the country earlier this month.
The company, one of the biggest exporters of South African coal, had said in January that the closure of its Optimum coal mines would leave over 1,000 people unemployed, but the figure was reduced to between 600 and 700 jobs on July 1.
“Through various engagements and company initiatives the impact has been significantly mitigated. Optimum is now proceeding with the closure of these operations,” Glencore said in a statement, Reuters reports.
The country’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has repeatedly threatened the government with legal actions if Glencore proceeded with the cuts.
In a earlier statement, the NUM said that in its view, Glencore failed to comply with its social and labour plans regarding severance packages and it was therefore up to the department of mineral resources (DMR) to “enforce compliance”.
“We are consulting with our lawyers as to what recourse we will take against DMR if they fail and Glencore succeeds with retrenchment,” NUM Deputy General Secretary William Mabapa said.
The union had also accused the company of targeting female employees for retrenchments but Glencore dismissed the allegations as “baseless,” adding it might consider re-opening the operations if economic conditions improve.