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Amplats meets workers' committee

Oct 29 2012 18:32

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Johannesburg - A meeting between Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and representatives of striking workers continued in Rustenburg on Monday, the company said.

"The meeting is currently underway," spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said by 16:00.

The Rustenburg strike co-ordinating committee earlier said it was going to meet the company to discuss its salary demands.

Spokesperson Gaddafhi Mdoda said the workers would not return to their posts on Tuesday despite a proposal for them to do so.

"The strike is on. Workers have crushed the proposal to return to work," he said.

Amplats said in a statement at the weekend it had reached an agreement with unions and workers' representatives to reinstate the 12 000 employees dismissed, and that they were expected to return to work on Tuesday.

Mdoda said workers had heard of this through the media, which made it difficult for their representatives to explain the agreement to them.

"We have been in meetings with management and the unions. We cannot take any offer without consulting the workers. They have rejected the offer."

He expressed concern that the situation could turn violent on Tuesday if some workers did report for duty.

"We have not signed that agreement. The sms sent [by the company] to workers is complicating this issue and confusing workers. We call on workers not to be violent, but to resolve this peacefully."

Amplats said it had offered to reinstate all workers on the same terms and conditions of employment as applied before their illegal strike.

The workers would receive a final written disciplinary warning instead of being dismissed.

The company had further offered a once-off hardship allowance of R2000 to help workers deal with financial difficulties arising from the no-work, no-pay principle in place while they were striking.

Workers who did not participate in the strike would receive a once-off loyalty allowance of R2000.

In addition, employees affected by the no-work, no-pay rule could apply for loan of up to R2500 each, repayable over six months from January 2013.

Workers were expected to report for duty at 7:00 on Tuesday.

Amplats workers went on strike on September 12, demanding a monthly salary of R16 000.

On Saturday, National Union of Mineworkers' secretary Frans Baleni said strikes could score short-term gains, but this could result in permanent losses.

"Prolonged strikes may lead to the company closing down," he said after a Congress of SA Trade Unions rally in Rustenburg.

amplats  |  mining unrest
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