Strikes End at Anglo American Platinum

Anglo American Platinum reported on November 15 that striking workers at its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult oper-ations in South Africa had accepted the terms of a company offer and returned to work. The strikes were the last to be settled among major South African precious met-als producers following three months of disruptive labor disputes.

Employees at Gold Fields KDC East mine had returned to work November 6, and all three Gold Fields mines in South Africa were back in production at that time.

While strikes at South African mines were for the most part at an end as of late November, labor issues were not entirely settled. On November 23, Harmony Gold confirmed that two of its employees had been killed and a third person injured on the previous day in the vicinity of its Kusasalethu mine, near Carletonville. Kusasalethu’s operations were not unaf-fected. However, Harmony, in conjunc-tion with the South African Police Service, increased its vigilance and secu-rity at the mine to ensure the safety and security of employees.

Anglo American Platinum’s offer applied to all employees in the bargaining unit and will benefit approximately 48,000 employees. Elements of the offer included reinstatement of all dismissed Rustenburg employees; a once-off allowance of R4,500 (pre-tax) [1 SA Rand = about US$0.11] payable in two tranches, the first payment of R2,000 hardship allowance to be paid two days after employees have returned to work and the second payment of R2,500 being a safe start-up allowance to be paid two weeks after employees have returned to work and commenced actual work; a monthly allowance of R400 (pre-tax) that will be added to base salaries; and an undertaking by management to re-open wage negotiations early, recognizing that any agreements reached would be imple-mented in July 2013 in order to maintain the wage negotiation cycle.

As of mid-November, Anglo American Platinum had lost 191,359 oz of plat-inum production, equating to R3.4 billion of lost revenue.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 12 -