Am­plats work­ers protest job cuts

CityPress - - Business - – Bloomberg

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.

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