Amplats: Amcu members to return to work

2013-10-11 08:43

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) are expected to return to work today after the strike in protest against retrenchments at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) was suspended.

“We are reporting for duty from tomorrow [Friday]. The strike is over,” said Amplats Amcu organiser George Tyobeka.

Amcu members went on strike on September 27, demanding that the company stop the retrenchment of 3 300 workers.

Amplats announced in January that 14 000 jobs would be cut as part of its restructuring process.

On September 27 it said retrenchment avoidance measures, such as redeployment into vacancies across the group, voluntary severance, and early retirements, had resulted in a reduction in the number of employees to be retrenched to 3 300.

Tyobeka said Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa would brief journalists about what led to the end of the strike.

“The president [Mathunjwa] will brief you media in detail, he is busy with others now,” Tyobeka said from Bleskop stadium, near Rustenburg.

“We are dispersing,” he said, with the sound of vuvuzelas audible in the background.

The company said as part of the strike settlement, the 3 300 employees who had previously not taken up the offer of redeployment, voluntary separation, or early retirement, and were to be retrenched, had been granted voluntary separation packages.

“The company will retain approximately 1 250 of those 3 300 employees for a period of six months to undertake reclamation activities at the affected operations (Khuseleka two and Khomanani one and two).

“During this period, these employees will be offered job opportunities that may become available as a result of ending the use of contract labour or vacancies created by natural attrition,” spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said in a statement.

She said at the end of the six months, employees not placed in vacant positions would be given voluntary separation packages.

A further 328 jobs, which were currently occupied by contractors, would be reserved for permanent employees when the contracts were terminated.

Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said he was pleased the strike had ended.

“With this latest agreement, no retrenchments will be necessary after the redeployments and voluntary separation packages.”

The company said operations in Rustenburg and the north of the Pilanesberg would resume after safety procedures had been completed.

It said about 44 000 platinum ounces of production had been lost during the 11-day strike.

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