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Contract mining companies fired

Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 July 2009 – Toronto and AIM-listed Eastern Platinum “’ Canada’s leading platinum group metals producer “’ confirmed today that its subsidiary in South Africa had terminated the services of the contract mining companies whose employees had been involved in industrial action last week at its Crocodile River mine (CRM).
The mine said it planned to undertake all core mining activities with workers directly employed by the company, with the change seen to have a short-term impact on production. “The contracts would terminate with immediate effect,” it said in a statement, adding that CRM had brought charges against those individuals employed by the contractor companies who had been engaged in the actions of last week.

Some 500 contract workers staged a sit-in underground last week and took seven supervisors hostage. The hostages were all released by Friday evening, and the sit-in ended on Saturday.

The workers were demanding to be employed permanently, a promise they said they had been given by management, according to a local radio station. Eastplats said that the miners’ demands were in contradiction of agreements in place. “This demand and associated illegal action is not supported by Eastplats, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), or by the mining contractors involved,” the company insisted.