Fired Amplats strikers to meet unions over reinstatment

2012-11-05 10:13

Representatives of 12 000 fired Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) workers will meet with unions to discuss a reinstatement offer, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has said.

“I am not aware if the workers have gone back to work, but what I do know is that there is a meeting between worker representatives and unions,” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said today.

“We will meet with them, but it is entirely up to them to decide if they want to take the offer.”

On Friday, the workers had not accepted an offer to reinstate them.

Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said the company would provide an update on the situation today “when appropriate”.

She said the company’s statement from Thursday was still valid.

Amplats said in that statement: “The offer was strictly subject to all striking employees returning to work and doing actual work activities by no later than Tuesday, 30 October 2012. This offer, which has not yet been accepted by employees, is still open.”

The company offered a once-off R2 000 “hardship allowance” to help workers in financial difficulties due to the no-work, no-pay principle.

Two weeks ago, the platinum producer said it met with unions to facilitate the return of the 12 000 dismissed workers, and those who were on an illegal strike at its Union and Amandelbult mines.

Amplats fired the 12 000 after they failed to appear for a disciplinary hearing.

They had been on a wildcat strike since September 12, demanding a minimum wage of R16 000 a month.

The Amplats offer was made in consultation with NUM, Uasa, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, Solidarity, and a strikers’ committee.

The New Age reported today that strikers forced four workers at the Amandelbult mine to strip naked, to punish them for reporting for work.

A picture in the paper showed three men over the age of 50, and a woman in her 30s, standing naked in front of a crowd of striking workers.

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