Sacked miners get time to reclaim jobs

2012-11-12 19:29

Johannesburg - Thousands of Anglo American Platinum workers sacked last month for staging an illegal strike have been given more time to decide if they want to reclaim their jobs, the firm said Monday.

Amplats has repeatedly shifted the deadline for the 12 000 workers who were dismissed in October to return to the mine shafts.

But the defiant workers have spurned the gesture saying they will not return underground until their demands for hefty pay increases are met.

On Friday, Amplats offered a R4 500 rand once-off bonus and gave the workers until Monday to return to work.

But as the latest deadline expired, Amplats said on Monday afternoon that it has pushed the deadline to Wednesday in response to a request by the leading umbrella union Cosatu "to further explore options to facilitate the return to work of employees."

Amplats said however that the discussions would not involve wage negotiations.

"Should the discussions not be successful, Anglo American Platinum will proceed with effecting the dismissals of the 12 000" striking workers at its northwestern Rustenburg mines, the company's spokesperson Mpumi Sithole told AFP.

It will also "finalise" the disciplinary hearings for strikers at its other mines, Union and Amandelbult, "which could lead to additional dismissals".

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka confirmed the return-to-work deadline was extended following pleas from the union.

"In our view, we believe that the environment is not yet conducive for workers to go back to work," he said.

Miners who have tried to return to work have reported cases of serious intimidation.

NUM and Cosatu leadership were expected to meet the representatives of the striking miners on Monday.

"We are trying our best to convince all the people to go back to work," said Seshoka.

Output at the company's Rustenburg mines has been hit since September 12 by the strikes over demands for wage increases.

  • claudia.meads - 2012-11-12 19:37


      matshobana.siziba - 2012-11-13 08:37

      Check Zuma's 'leadership' skills vs Obama on

  • john.fourie1 - 2012-11-12 19:42

    These miners have no understanding of the impact on the local economy. It is hurting us all in Rustenburg but the time has come for Anglo to take a stand, fire them or give them their increase. The latter will most likely result in retrenchments but what else will put an end to this chaos!!

  • Erna - 2012-11-12 20:18

    How many chances are they going to get?

  • estie.kilian - 2012-11-12 20:29

    Anglo Platinum must be forced to end this strike. If they can not do this - where is the so many departments that need to take care of this. Will the Queen of England allow something like this in her country - NO, so why must the whole nation suffer on the end of the day due to a company that just allow employees to play them as yo-yo's and forcefeed them to adhere to the strikes demands. Please - retrench them - it will be good riddens of bad rubbish.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-13 06:21

      JOHN evidently you know nothing about economics. everything is becoming more expensive because the Rand has dropped in Value to the dollar from R8.08 to R8.75 since the strikes began because all imports now exceed ex ports by a large amount because we are not exporting gold or platinum and therefore the cost of goods will increase greatly so the whole nation suffers.

  • John - 2012-11-12 20:49

    Regardless of the issues there is no such thing as an ILLEGAL strike! Because it is UNPROTECTED it is a WILDCAT strike but is not ILLEGAL. The mines should curb their greed and give the miners a FAIR and EQUITABLE exchange for their LABOUR.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-13 06:24

      John are you paid what you think you are worth. Did you when you applied for your current job accept the wage/salary package if you did accept it and now think you are worth more why don't you demand more just like the miners are doing

      theo.joubert.37 - 2012-11-13 07:23

      @John, what diference does it make, call the strike whatever you like. The fact remain these are unskilled workers. They cannot expect to be paid salaries equel to or more then qualified workers. These salaries they demand are more then the salary paid to many people with universaty digrees at entry level. It is rediculous to say the least. They should decide to either go back to work or look for work elsewhere. It is time for the mines to grow a backbone and sack them all. You asked how does the whole nation suffer. These mine workers earn an income that supports their families. These families uses the income to buy food and for other expences. Since the strike began this income for their families dissappeared. The families do not have the money to spend anymore. Businesses as a result lost sales, and are still loosing sales. Local small businesses are as a result strugling to keep head above water. This force them to cut expences, and guess what they have to retrench people. And even more people lose their jobs!!!! And all of this because of striking idiots, and mine management that decided to beg them to come back to work. Mabe you should try to study somewhere else. (study at:) "Me" clearly did not teach you much.

  • John - 2012-11-12 21:29

    Is there a LABOUR BROKER grabbing the lions share? Something is WRONG with this picture!

  • brionyl.french - 2012-11-13 05:05

    Stop giving these people an olive branch fire them and starte hiring new staff. Preferably people who have never worked. They will be so happy to have a job and a salary. Ungrateful pigs these people.

  • Maverick82 - 2012-11-13 05:26

    Start placing vacancies in the newspapers, I know of a lot of people that need work and would be more than happy to receive the salary that these guys are receiving right now.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-11-13 07:32

    Yawwnnnnn. What's this about a rock and a hard place? Not that easy to just find another 12000 semi skilled workers . Mmmmmmm me sees more problems everywhere. Farm workers etc

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-13 08:03

    Amplats have faild epically!! They look like a bunch of cowards now to the workers, the unions and the rest of South Africa. They have now gone out of their way to please workers but that will never happen because the workers don't want a solution! FIRE THEM ALL!!!!

  • derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-11-13 08:48

    AMPLATS YOU HAVE NO BALLS....Fire them or they will forever hold you to ransom...

  • teboho.martin.3 - 2012-11-13 11:35

    I can see how black people don't like each other and they lie to each,capitalist rich people they don't care about others ,and what I have learned is that Trade union are no longer intrested in worker issues and I can see that collective burguning is no longer working and Unions are buying share in the mines while they still representing worker! I can say this ,Workers in SA we can see that Trade unions are failing us it is time to wake up and stand for yourself,Trade unions they forget that workers pays their salaries at the end of the month.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-13 12:34

    Dimiss them now and get it over with!

  • JOHNY63 - 2012-11-13 16:35

    More time? This is ridiculous. It is becoming a laughing matter.

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