All quiet at Amplats mine

Jan 20 2013 13:05
Johannesburg - The situation was quiet at Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] Mines (Amplats) in Rustenburg on Sunday, where 13 000 jobs are on the line, said a worker.

"It is calm. We have returned to work since Wednesday. We want to give due processes chance to succeed regarding the proposed retrenchment," said workers' leader Gadafhi Mdoda.

He said they hoped Amplats would change its stance on the proposed retrenchments.

"Maybe it can change. We just wait and see," said Mdoda.

Amplats announced on Tuesday that it planned to stop production at four of its shafts - Khuseleka One and Two, and Khomanani One and Two - in Rustenburg. This could result in the loss of 13 000 jobs.

It also planned to sell a mine in Limpopo which was considered unsustainable. This could result in the loss of 1 000 more jobs.

Workers embarked on a strike and refused to go underground on Tuesday, but they abandoned the strike and returned to work on Wednesday night.

North West premier Thandi Modise met with Amplats on Thursday.

Her spokesperson Lesiba Moses Kgwele said it was agreed at the meeting that there would be no retrenchments or redeployment of workers in the next 90 days.

"Amplats will intensify its consultation processes before it implements its business review proposals," he said.

Kgwele said Amplats had clarified that 9 000 workers who might be affected by the restructuring could be redeployed to other Anglo American [JSE:AGL] operations.

The company also intended creating at least 14 000 replacement jobs to balance the number of jobs which might be affected by the proposed restructuring.

It aimed to reskill its employees with portable skills, such as bricklaying, so they could participate in a project to construct 15 000 housing units. Amplats proposed to contribute R300m towards the project.

"Everything should be done to avoid job losses, and where these are unavoidable, their impact should be mitigated through a comprehensive social plan that is informed by inputs from government, trade unions, traditional leaders, local government and affected communities," Modise said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Amplats has asked the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to facilitate discussions with unions about possible retrenchments.

"The first facilitation meeting (on) Friday was adjourned as the parties all agreed to a postponement," CCMA spokesperson Nersan Govender said in a statement on Friday.

This was to allow the unions to consult their members and finalise their delegations. The process would resume on January 30. 

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anglo platinum  |  mining  |  retrenchments



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