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Amplats fires more than 600 underground workers at Mototolo mine

The precious metals producer says it dismissed 643 employees at Mototolo, which produced 57,700 ounces of platinum group metals in the first quarter of 2019, after its appeal to end the strike was ignored.

Image: Pexels

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum has fired about half of the underground workers at its Mototolo mine following an illegal strike.

Workers belonging to the General Industrial Workers' Union of South Africa (Giwusa) went on strike earlier this month following a dispute over the employees' medical scheme. This was despite an interim court interdict against any industrial action.

The precious metals producer says it dismissed 643 employees at Mototolo, which produced 57,700 ounces of platinum group metals in the first quarter of 2019, after its appeal to end the strike was ignored.

Amplats spokesperson Jana Marais urged dismissed employees to submit their appeals against the company's decision.

"We urge the dismissed to take advantage of the appeal opportunity that is there. They need to submit their appeals as quickly as possible before the deadline tomorrow,” Marais said.

She said the impact on production had been minimal.

A union official at Giwusa, which is the only recognised union at the mine, indicated they would approach the Labour Court over the dismissals.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)