Johannesburg - Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats) will delay
its dismissal process pending the outcome of talks with trade unions, the
company said on Thursday.
"The company has resolved to commence engagements with
its recognised unions, namely, NUM, Uasa, and Numsa, to explore options to
facilitate the return of employees currently involved in illegal strike action,
to work. These discussions will be done on an expedited basis," said
spokesperson Mpumi Sithole.
She said Amplats had also decided to delay the dismissal
process at its Union and Amandelbult mines to afford these negotiations a
chance of success.
"Anglo American Platinum confirms that while it remains
its stated position that we will not reinstate the 12 000 dismissed Rustenburg
employees, the company has agreed with its recognised unions that it is willing
to discuss their status as part of this engagement."
CEO Chris Griffith said the company believed it was right
for it to engage with recognised unions to find a solution.
"We are faced with extremely complex challenges that
require innovative solutions that will address the very real economic issues
affecting the entire platinum industry.
"We believe that it is only right for us to engage with
our recognised unions and work together to find the best way forward."
Workers have been on strike since September demanding a
monthly salary of R16 000.
The company fired 12 000 workers at its Rustenburg operation
after they did not attend disciplinary hearing.
Amplats said despite calls for workers to return, attendance
levels remained below 20%.
"Currently the majority of the mining operations in
Rustenburg and north of Pilanesburg have insufficient staff to operate safely
and continue to carry out essential services only."