5 000 Impala Plat workers out of a job

Impala Platinum Mine dismissed 5 000 workers in Rustenburg on Tuesday when they embarked on a salary-related illegal strike, the company said.

“We will offer them re-hiring but everything needs to be negotiated through the correct channels,” spokesperson Bob Gilmour said.

Gilmour said the company had contacted the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the main union of which the dismissed employees were members.

The union was disappointed with the dismissals, said NUM general secretary Frans Baleni.

Non-recognised unions had gone behind NUM’s back and given members misleading information, he said.

“The NUM finds it unfortunate that unscrupulous forces have been able to mislead and exploit this high number of workers based on what are largely genuine concerns.”

Baleni said the union was scheduled to meet the company on Wednesday to discuss the dismissals and other concerns.

“We appeal to our members to remain calm as we intervene in this case and not to do anything that will complicate matters,” he said.—Sapa

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