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Trollope mining Co under fire for job cuts

Trollope mining co under fire for job cuts

We followed labour laws- mark Trollope

A leading mining services company, Trollope has come under fire over allegations of unlawful retrenchments of staff.

Trollope, which took mining responsibilities at Lucara’s Karowe Mine in January last year has been accused of unlawfully laying off 48 out of its 300 staff complement of miners in March, blatantly flouting government instructions for companies not to fire employees that were on the payroll as at December 2019, during Covid-19 period.

A representative of the disgruntled ex-workers, Thebeetsile Raleteke said they were terminated on the 4th of March this year, way before the end of their contracts, which were scheduled to expire next year.

“The employer had proposed a voluntary exit plan, which some employees settled for but we were shocked when those who did not take that option were forcefully retrenched,” Raleteke said.

The retrenched employees’ representative also expressed suspicions that the employer might have acted out of a tip- off by the client about the outbreak of Covid-19 in China, because as early as November last year, they were regularly sanitizing the mines and engaging in corona prevention like protocols.

According to Raleteke, the axed miners had lodged their complaint with the Permanant Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, one Mr Komoki who promised to help but later decided to stop taking their calls.

“Komoki advised us to go to Letlhakane Labour Office and call him from there so he can instruct his junior on how to proceed but unfortunately, we found the office under lock and key,” revealed the former employee.

In an interview with The Voice recently, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Mpho Balopi has noted that he was aware of labour issues taking place at the mines in particular and the government was working around the clock to resolve the problems.

Reached for a comment, the Trollope Mining Services Area Manager, Mark Trollope said the company’s engagement with workers to find a solution for the problem was hampered by lockdown.

“Their main concern has been their payslips and we hope to have addressed the issue soon,” said Trollop, adding that the company would not in any way abandon stranded employees.

Denying allegations of unlawful retrenchment leveled against his company, Trollope said labour laws were followed to lay off the 48 employees.

“ The diamond industry is currently under pressure and at the moment there are no mining activities taking place and this is happening

all over the world. We however hope that when things normalize we would be able to take back the retrenched workers,” Trollope said in an interview

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