Feature image credit: Wikimedia

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has reached a deal with the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa following a three-week-long negotiation process.

This follows an unprotected strike by GIWUSA-affiliated workers that led to the dismissal of 643 employees at Amplats’ Mototolo mine (about 50% of the underground workforce) has been resolved, following ongoing engagements with the GIWUSA over the past three weeks.

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.

In terms of the collective agreement signed by the parties on Wednesday 29 May 2019, all dismissed employees will be reinstated at Mototolo mine and will report for duty by Friday, 31 May 2019.

In terms of the agreement, the union has accepted that the proposed medical aid meets the requirement of the Section 197 transfer.

While the no work, no pay principle will be applied for the duration of the strike, the agreement also makes provision for employees to earn back their lost income within the next four months through working additional shifts and to make up for lost production.

“We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually acceptable outcome through negotiations.

“Our priority is now to safely restore the mine to full production as quickly as it is practical to do so,” says Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith.