Platinum miner Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), headed by Chris Griffith, has dismissed half of the Mototolo mine’s underground employees amid an unprotected strike, but has given the dismissed employees until May 21 to appeal the decision.
Employees at the mine affiliated with the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) embarked on the strike on May 12.
Giwusa had, earlier this year, declared a dispute with Amplats at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), alleging that changes made by Amplats regarding employees’ medical scheme, following the purchase of the mine from Glencore in November 2018, represented a “unilateral change in employees’ condition of service”.
This is despite Amplats having offered a medical scheme, through Platinum Health, with similar benefits.
A strike notice was issued to Amplats, but the platinum miner was granted an interim court interdict against any strike action by Giwusa at the Mototolo mine.
Amplats had appealed to Giwusa employees to end the unprotected strike and for striking employees to return to work, but these requests were ignored, Amplats said in a statement issued on Monday.
Amplats said it was disappointed by the conduct of the union and its members “at a time in which socioeconomic pressures continue to detrimentally impact on the sector and employment is so scarce”, the miner said on Monday.
It also confirmed that the impact of the strike on production had been minimal and that the miner was exploring options to ensure the mine resumes full production as soon as practically possible.