Johannesburg, South Africa — 25 May 2012 – The situation remains tense at Impala Platinum’s Rustenburg mine, where one of the rival unions is planning a march today to a courthouse where two of its supporters face charges of attempted murder. This latest development comes in the wake of yesterday’s return to work after a two-day stoppage that cost the company at least 6,000 ounces in lost output.
“The march is planned for today and we are preparing for that,” a police spokesman told Reuters.
The battle between South Africa’s dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) led to a six-week shut down earlier this year of Impala’s Rustenburg mine “’ the world’s largest platinum mine, which lost 120,000 ounces of global output on that occasion.
According to the police, the latest round was sparked off when suspected AMCU supporters allegedly shot and wounded a NUM member last week. Their arrest on Monday prompted protests, which saw most of the mine’s workforce failing to report for duty on Tuesday.
Implats says AMCU wants recognition from the company and now claims to have 10,000 members, or about a third of the 30,000-strong labour force, if processing workers are counted.
Source: Reuters. For more information, click here.