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FS Gold Fields miners return to work

Miners returned to three, out of four shafts at Gold Fields Beatrix Mine on Wednesday.

Striking Gold Fields mineworkers. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Workers returned to three, out of four shafts at Gold Fields Beatrix Mine in the Free State on Wednesday, after the company issued a final ultimatum on Monday, threatening with dismissal.

The company said they had a full turnout of staff.

About 9,000 miners embarked on an illegal strike at Beatrix over a month ago.

At the same time, the company has issued a final warning to workers at Beatrix shaft four and at KDC West Mine in Carletonville, on Gauteng's West Rand.

Gold Fields spokesperson Willie Jacobsz said, "We've issued a final ultimatum, and the ultimatum is for them to return to work by 2pm on Thursday or face dismissal."

He said they had exhausted all the legal avenues to end the strike, and were even continuing to provide the miners with medical care despite the strike.

At least seven mines in the country have been brought to a standstill since the wildcat strikes started last month, and companies have now begun dismissing the strikers.

Anglo American Platinum Mine led the pack when it dismissed 12,000 miners for failing to attend disciplinary hearings.