Wildcat strikers reject Amplats’ offer

Workers for Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Saturday rejected a new offer from the strike-hit mining giant and vowed to push on with a wildcat stay away that has crippled production since September.

Thousands of workers gathered for a rally in a stadium in Rustenburg in the north west of South Africa as a police helicopter hovered above and officers kept watch.

"Nobody is going back to work, the strike is still carrying on," said Amplats Workers' Committee representative Evans Ramokga.

"The workers are not happy with the conditions so nobody is accepting the offer because there is not even an increase in that offer."

Anglo American Platinum on Friday said it had put forward a once-off payment of R4 500 and said it had reopened talks with unions in a bid to get its mines back to production.

Amplats also said it had agreed to an early re-opening of wage negotiations, though any pay hikes would only take effect from July 1 next year.

If the offer was accepted, it was understood that workers would return underground on Monday, it said.

The world's biggest platinum miner fired 12 000 workers in October after failing to reach a breakthrough at its Rustenburg mines whose output has been hit since September 12 over demands for wage increases.

The workers rejected a previous offer to be reinstated that included a one-time R2 000 payment.

Amplats is the last big mining company still hit by a wave of illegal strikes which led to more than 50 deaths, including 34 people shot dead by police at platinum miner Lonmin in August.

Amplats has lost 167 681 ounces of production since the start of September, the firm said Friday. – AFP.

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