About 50% of the underground workforce at Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats) Mototolo Mine have been dismissed.

This follows after members of the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) embarked on an unprotected strike at the mine.

On 9 May 2019 GIWUSA served a strike notice on Amplats at Mototolo Mine.

This followed a dispute declared by GIWUSA at the CCCMA, in which the union alleged that the changes Amplats made regarding employees’ medical scheme, following the purchase of the mine from Glencore in November 2018, represented a unilateral change in employees’ conditions of service.

The company argues that it has offered a medical scheme with similar benefits.

On 10 May, Amplats was granted an interim court interdict against any strike action by GIWUSA at Mototolo Mine.

Despite the interdict, GIWUSA employees embarked on an unprotected strike on 12 May. The company has appealed to GIWUSA to end the unprotected strike and for striking employees to return to work.

These requests have been ignored and Amplats has dismissed 643 of Mototolo Mine’s underground workforce.

Dismissed employees have until 21 May to appeal the decision. Amplats says that the impact on production has been minimal and it is exploring options to ensure that Mototolo Mine recommences full production as soon as practically possible.