Amplats workers protest job cuts
More than 500 workers at the mine-development unit at the Twickenham operation of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) started a strike against plans to cut as many as 165 jobs.
Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) stopped working at the mine in Limpopo after being served notices of possible dismissals, the NUM said in an emailed statement on Friday.
The majority of the affected “employees do not even have retirement and pension funds”, the NUM said. “The company must consider voluntary severance packages as an alternative.”
Spokespeople for Johannesburg-based Amplats Gert Schoeman and Mpumi Sithole did not immediately answer calls seeking comment.
Amplats is developing the Twickenham mine as it seeks to discard four ageing operations in favour of spending capital on more mechanised facilities. The margins of the world’s largest platinum producers in South Africa, which has more than 70% of known global reserves, are under pressure as the metal’s price has declined by more than 40% since August 2011.
Amplats planned to cut as many as 420 managerial and supervisory positions at its Rustenburg Platinum Mines unit, the company said on June 23.