Striking Amplats
Johannesburg, South Africa — 10 October 2013 – A South African court has dismissed an application to stop Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats) from firing employees as a strike over the dismissals at the world’s largest producer of the metal approaches the end of its second week.

Bloomberg News quotes the Labour Court as saying, as it ruled against the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), that the company had consulted adequately and fairly when it had discussed the proposed job cuts with labour unions between June and August this year.

“Amplats was entitled to bring the consultation process to an end when it did and to issue retrenchment notices,” the court said in its judgment.

The NUM is challenging a decision by the platinum producer set out in August to consolidate five mines into three at its Rustenburg complex to curb costs, resulting in about 3,300 job cuts. The mines are losing more than US$100 million every six months, CEO Chris Griffith has said.

Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the NUM, wasn’t able to comment when contacted by phone.

The organisation has been usurped as the largest representative of Amplats employees by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which called a strike over the job cuts that started on September 27.

The work stoppage at Amplats’s mines in the North West province continued yesterday, AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa said by phone.

Talks between Mathunjwa and Amplats CEO Griffith, which started yesterday, will continue today, Mpumi Sithole, a spokeswoman for the mining company, said by phone. Amplats is losing an average of 3,100 ounces of platinum-group metals daily because of the strike, according to the company.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.