Amplats fires 12,000 striking workers in South Africa.

By bne IntelliNews October 8, 2012
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the worlds biggest platinum producer, has dismissed 12,000 workers engaged in an illegal strike at its Rustenburg operation in South Africa, becoming the first company in the two-month wave of violent industrial auctions to fire staff. The miner said that the three-week wildcat strike has cost it 39,000 ounces of lost platinum production, resulting in approximately ZAR 700mn (EUR 61.3mn) of lost revenue. According to an unnamed analyst, quoted by Business Day, some 5,000 of the fired workers may not be rehired as the Rustenburg operations are marginal and many shafts were loss-making before the strike started. Amplats has recently said that its Rustenburg mining operations were already under considerable economic pressure and the illegal industrial action was making these operations even less viable. The wave of illegal industrial auctions has been increasingly sweeping South Africas mining sector after workers at Lonmins Marikana platinum mine reached an 11%-to-22% pay rise agreement following a six week illegal violent strike that claimed 46 lives and rattled the countrys economy. Illegal strikes have spread to almost every sector of South Africa's mining industry, including platinum, gold, coal, iron ore, chrome and diamonds. Workers in the automotive sector also downed tools last week, while a violent strike by truck drivers led to petrol stations running dry.

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