During retrenchment, procedure at our coal assets dictates that when the individual is a member of a union, the union must be notified; and that non-union employees must be met with and notified privately. There is a 60 day minimum consultation process. Avoidance measures (ie transferring the individual to a new position) are explored and exhausted before any retrenchment takes place.
Glencore Coal’s notice period is two months; we also offer support with emotional assistance and retraining. There is a voluntary option of further financial assistance or skill training (welding, etc) to allow people to start their own business. This package is comparable to the market.
Our ferroalloys division has a specific procedure for assets undergoing retrenchment. If we identify a particular asset as experiencing stress or financial stress, we estimate how long operations can continue and decide whether the asset can restructure the current model, or if it must shut down. The procedure includes a “Future Forum” with the unions to discuss the sustainability of the current operation. If operations cannot continue in their current form, we begin consultation meetings (a 60-day process) to raise issues and evaluate alternatives (eg reducing hours, more overtime).
If this does not yield results, we notify the union and send letters of retrenchment to individual employees. Then we further consult and discuss retrenchment packages, which far exceed what the law and industry dictate. Retrenchment decisions are either made on a “last in, first out” system, or based on the skillsets of individuals.
Glencore Ferroalloys provides a year of trauma/emotional counselling and financial counselling. Workers can also elect to take additional skills training (eg plumbing, electrics, welding) in lieu of an additional month’s salary. Then if an appropriate position becomes available, we will give them first consideration for rehiring.
If workers become ill or injured during retrenchment, Glencore Ferroalloys will continue to supply medical treatment at our onsite medical clinics. They also remain on the share scheme, either until their death or for so long as the scheme exists; they are never cashed out.