Striking Northam miners agree to return to work
The miners' return to work signals an end to a week-long stoppage at Northam's biggest mine.
JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says striking workers have agreed to return to their posts, ending a week-long stoppage at Northam Platinum's biggest mine.
Thousands of employees stopped work at the company's Zondereinde Mine last Tuesday and called for Northam's chief executive Paul Dunne to step down over what they said were unfair hiring and firing practices.
The union's Livhuwani Mammburu said, "Employees will start returning to work from tonight and the majority will return to work tomorrow."
The NUM says a memorandum of understanding was signed today in which management agreed to address these practices and also complaints around sick leave.
Mammburu says no worker will face disciplinary action for the illegal strike.
"The two parties committed themselves to peace for stability at the mine."
The mine produces 65 percent of Northam's output and about 900 to 1,000 ounces of platinum group metals per day.
The wider platinum industry is still recovering from a record five-month strike last year by NUM's rival the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.
South Africa is the world's top producer of the white metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.