AngloGold dismissal procedure begins

2012-10-25 09:02

AngloGold Ashanti will start dismissal procedures against 12 000 workers who failed to report for duty by yesterday’s noon deadline, the company said.

“The deadline has passed. A process is kicking in,” said spokesperson Alan Fine.

The process involved workers at its Mponeng, Tau Tona and Savuka operations near Carletonville.

Nobody had been fired yet, as it was a drawn-out process which took time, Fine said.

“We do continue talking and meeting representatives. It’s not a once-off, instant process,” he said.

“It leads to dismissal eventually.”

Meanwhile, the company reported lower than expected third-quarter gold production, primarily due to the continued labour unrest in South Africa, and lower than expected production at its Obuasi operation in Ghana.

The production for the three months to September 30 2012 was 1.03Moz (million ounces), which compared with guidance for the period of 1.07Moz to 1.10Moz.

Further details would be provided on November 8.

The company said it would continue engaging with workers.

Workers had one avenue left after dismissal, and this was to appeal.

It said the unprotected strike across the three mines at its Vaal River region had ended.

Workers at the Kopanang, Great Noligwa and Surface Operations returned to work on Monday and those at Moab Khotsong, near Orkney, ended their unprotected work stoppage on Tuesday.

“All of these operations have begun the process of ramping up production levels and all returning workers will receive the recently improved wage offer made through the industry’s collective bargaining framework.”

AngloGold Ashanti miners have been on strike since September in demand of a monthly salary of R16 000.

The company said it was losing about 32 000 ounces of production a week to the strike.

When it announced the ultimatum on Friday, AngloGold said that strike action had largely been peaceful, but that the conditions of the ore bodies and underground infrastructure across the ultra-deep operations were deteriorating.

This raised the risk that portions of the mines could be sterilised and jobs permanently lost.

“The point has now been reached where further steps must be taken to try and break the deadlock and encourage a rapid return to normal operations.” the company said.


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