JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Glencore Xstrata has dismissed an additional 800 striking workers at the Helena, Magareng and Thorncliffe mines in Limpopo, following unsuccessful meetings between management and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
This brought the total number of dismissals to 1 000, following the firing of some 200 workers from its Helena mine last week after three ultimatums to return to work were ignored.
Glencore Xstrata, which owns the Helena, Magareng and Thorncliffe mines in a joint venture (JV) with JSE-listed Merafe, said the workers had until 16:00 on June 4 to appeal their dismissals.
Xstrata spokesperson Christopher Tsatsawane told Mining Weekly Online on Monday that the company was “committed” to continued engagement with AMCU to resolve the unprotected strike. AMCU represented the majority of the striking workers.
Employees downed tools at the Helena mine on Tuesday amid allegations of an assault of a worker by a shift supervisor. A solidarity strike then spread to the company’s Magareng and Thorncliffe operations.
The company said it had initiated an investigation into the incident.
“We have decided to put both the complainant and the accused on special leave to ensure the smooth running and finalisation of the investigation, which will be overseen by an independent chairperson, agreed upon by both the company and the union,” said Tsatsawane.
Merafe on Friday said that, for now, the JV had sufficient stockpiles of chrome to service client and smelter demands.
“There is adequate chrome ore stock in the venture to ensure that both smelter and customer demands are met,” the company said in a statement.