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NUM urges Impala Platinum workers not to go back to work

The company sent its workers SMSes on Sunday to return to work on Tuesday.

FILE: Mineworkers leave Shaft 14 of the Impala Platinum mine in Phokeng. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it wasn’t consulted by Impala Platinum of the company’s plans to resume operations this week.

The company sent its workers SMSes on Sunday to return to work on Tuesday.

It announced in March that it intended applying to continue with operations outside of the essential care and maintenance allowed during the lockdown.

But the South African Police Service was turning some employees back home.

NUM president Joseph Montisetse said: “We were not consulted. Some of the workers say they received SMSes saying that they were instructed to the mines. First and foremost, the company must consult with the unions.”

NUM has called on its members not to report for duty at mining companies yet.

He said workers must refuse to work: “We want to tell workers that they should not go to work because first and foremost, the company should consult with the union because we have to talk about the safety of workers, amongst other things.”

Montisetse said the union had sought clarity from the mine.