Business

CCMA to mediate Amplats and union retrenchment discussions

Sapa

The CCMA has been asked to facilitate discussions between Anglo American Platinum and unions about planned retrenchments.

Anglo American Platinum? mine strikers. (Gallo)

"The request comes in the wake of a decision by Amplats to give employees notice that it is contemplating retrenchments and would like to consult over this matter," the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) said in a statement. 

Earlier this month, Amplats said it was planning a restructuring which could lead to the retrenchment of 14 000 workers at its operations. About 13 000 of them were from Rustenburg, in North West.

The CCMA said consulting parties had agreed to postpone the retrenchment process for 60 days to enable them to engage with the mineral resources department "with a view to finding appropriate solutions".

Nationalisation
Trade union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) pushed for the government to nationalise Amplats if it continues with the proposed retrenchments.

Three weeks ago, workers embarked on a strike and refused to go underground following the company's retrenchment announcement.

The announcement came after Harmony Gold said it was suspending operations at its Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville to review operations after several illegal strikes.

Amplats miners returned to work and abandoned their illegal strike, the company said. Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa described the situation at Harmony Gold as tense.

He said when workers returned to work on January 3, the gates were closed and they were told the mine was shut down until further notice.

Miners were denied access into the mine hostel and many slept outside the gates, he said.

Amcu took the matter to the High Court in Johannesburg, to obtain an urgent interdict granting access to the hostels. – Sapa

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