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NUM rejects planned Amplats strike

The illegal strike will oppose a restructuring proposal which could see 6,000 workers lose their jobs.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday it doesn't expect the strike committee at Anglo American Platinum Mine (Amplats) in Rustenburg to get any support from the miners as it plans an illegal strike.

The committee threatened to stop work to oppose a restructuring proposal which could see 6,000 workers lose their jobs.

It said it would wait for an announcement by the company's CEO on Friday on the proposal and begin its strike thereafter.

But NUM's Lesiba Seshoka said the move is bound to fail.

"The so-called strike committee will not be supported by workers because we as a union rejected their proposal for a strike because it is illegal."

But the strike committee's Godfrey Lindani insists miners have already been mobilised and are ready to strike.

Lindani said their talks with Amplats management on Friday will determine if their wildcat strike goes ahead.

The mining giant said it has deployed security personnel to guard its property.

Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said management negotiations with workers should resolve the issue.

"We are hopeful they will heed the call of using the existing channels to address any issues so that we can sort this out."

Amplats announced its plans to retrench 14,000 workers in January, but the plans were halted following an intervention by the Mineral Resources Ministry.

The Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has condemned the planned retrenchments saying it will result in breadwinners losing their jobs.