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Amplats, govt consultations 'constructive'

Jan 29 2013 07:58
Amplats worker

Amplats worker (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] has had "constructive" consultations with the South African government about the company's restructuring exercise that could lead to 14 000 job cuts, chief executive Chris Griffith said on Tuesday.

"We have had very constructive conversations. I think our relationship is sort of back where it should be, this is going to be a difficult process", Griffith told Talk Radio 702.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said the company had betrayed government trust earlier this month by announcing a plan to mothball shafts and lay off workers under a restructuring by parent company Anglo American. 

Griffith told the radio Amplats was trying desperately to keep the business alive given tough market conditions. 

"This is not about playing games. The company is in real trouble and we have to collectively do something," Griffith said. 

Last week, President Jacob Zuma said the government needed to engage with gold and platinum mining firms about proposed shaft closures and lay-offs, and was not threatening them with licence reviews. 

On Monday the mineral resources department, Amplats and unions met and decided to postpone the Section 189 process under the Labour Relations Act.

"(The meeting resolved to) expedite the consultation process and take no more than 60 days, beginning January 30," they said in a joint statement.

"The tripartite members re-committed to engage constructively for the benefit of all stakeholders and will communicate progress updates as and when appropriate."

The unions represented at Amplats are the National Union of Mineworkers, the Associated Mineworkers & Construction Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Uasa.

Amplats announced the retrenchments on January 15.

The vast majority of job cuts - 13 000 - would be lost around Rustenburg, that was at the centre of violent labour unrest last August and September.

South Africa boasts 80% of the world's platinum deposits. Producers have been hit by rising input costs, falling prices, safety stoppages and violent labour unrest.

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anglo platinum  |  mining  |  retrenchments



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