AngloGold to fire miners

AngloGold Ashanti has announed plans to fire around 12,000 illegal striking miners.

Striking miners. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - AngloGold Ashanti has become the latest mining company to announce its intentions to fire thousands of workers who went on a wildcat strike.

It said it was planning to axe around 12,000 miners after they ignored an ultimatum to return to work.

The ultimatum was issued after negotiations between Ashanti and unions deadlocked last week.

AngloGold spokesperson Alan Fine said, "We have now reached a point where we feel we have no choice but to try and bring back normality to our mines."

Operations have been suspended for four weeks, with more than 24,000 employees on strike.

Meanwhile, Goldfields said some of its employees who were fired on Tuesday have started arriving at its KDC East mine to appeal their dismissal.

The mining company fired more than 8,000 workers after they failed to meet a deadline to return to their posts by Tuesday afternoon.

The company's Sven Lunche said, "So far we've had over 1,000 people queing up to appeal the procedure. Independent chairmen will now listen to every single appeal and make a final decision."

Thousands of miners at various other companies, including Gold Fields and Gold One, were fired after they refused to attend disciplinary hearings.

Many miners also failed to return to work on stipulated dates.