Miners return to work at Amplats


Employees of Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and Pilanesberg north have returned to work.

Employees of Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and Pilanesberg north returned to work on Thursday after striking a new wage deal. (AFP)

"The company is pleased to welcome its employees back to work," spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said on Thursday.

"The employees will be briefed by mine management this morning."

Sithole said the company was not expecting any production in the first week of the employees' return to work.

Safe-start training programmes would be implemented before production started.

"We anticipate that it will take a week to get to safe start-up before we can start implementing the ramp-up programme."

On Wednesday, striking miners accepted a new offer by Amplats. Workers agreed to a R4 500 once-off payment and a pre-tax, stand-alone allowance of R600 a month, the National Union of Mineworkers said.

Early start to 2013 negotiations
Workers were given the option of the R600 allowance or a salary increase of R400 a month. The union would meet mine management on Thursday to formalise the agreement.

The company was offering workers deadline-driven incentives to return to work at its Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union mines, where operations had been at a standstill for eight weeks over a pay increase demand.

Amplats said it would open next year's salary negotiations early, but any agreement would only apply from July.

It fired 12 000 strikers from its Rustenburg operation, but said it would take them back on condition they arrived for work by certain dates.

The company initially gave workers until Monday to accept the R4 500 offer, then extended the deadline to Wednesday. At the start of the strike, workers said they wanted a salary of R12 500 a month. – Sapa

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