Johannesburg, South Africa — 13 November 2012 – Thousands of Anglo American Platinum mineworkers who were sacked last month for staging an illegal strike have been given more time and a new deadline to decide if they want to reclaim their jobs.
Fin24 reports that 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 yesterday to return to work.
But as the latest deadline expired, Amplats said that it had pushed the deadline back till tomorrow in response to a request by the leading umbrella union, Cosatu, to further explore options to facilitate the return to work of employees.
Amplats stated, 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, said company spokesperson Mpumi Sithole. 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 had been extended following pleas from the union.
“In our view, 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.
Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.