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Amplats mines fail to reopen

Oct 03 2012 20:53 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Operations at Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Rustenburg and Union mines failed to resume on Wednesday as illegal strikes continued to disrupt work, the platinum producer said.

Spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said the company was continuing to pursue disciplinary action against those who participate in the unprotected strikes.

"We are also doing risk assessment after some damage to company property [on Tuesday night]," she said.

Workers at the Rustenburg mine were advised to stay at home on Tuesday for security reasons, but the company announced that work would resume with the day shift on Wednesday.

At the Union mine, in Limpopo, employees arrived for work on Tuesday, but refused to go underground for their shifts.

"The company has obtained an interdict against the employees and this action has been declared illegal and employees have been duly informed to return to work tomorrow morning," the company said on Tuesday.

About 21 000 mineworkers, of a workforce of 58 000 at the Amplats operation in Rustenburg, went on a wildcat strike two weeks ago, demanding a R16 000 salary before deductions.

The mine dismissed the strikers' wage demands as "irrational, and outside any form of bargaining".

The mine said it already had an agreement with a union, which expires in June 2013, and would re-negotiate wages in six months.

On Monday, the company said workers who failed to attend disciplinary hearings would be fired.

The company started disciplinary procedures after less than 20% of the miners reported for work on Thursday.
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