Amplats reaches agreement with unions after six-week strike

Anglo American's platinum unit, known as Amplats, has come to an agreement with trade unions in South Africa and hopes to see its 12,000 dismissed employees return to work by tomorrow, Tuesday October 30th.

Anglo American's platinum unit, known as Amplats, has come to an agreement with trade unions in South Africa and hopes to see its 12,000 dismissed employees return to work by tomorrow, Tuesday October 30th.

Industrial action has been going on for the past six weeks since the initial safety suspension of Amplats' Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult mining operations.

The company last week met with unions NUM, NUMSA and UASA to discuss how to facilitate the return to work of the 12,000 workers.

"The discussions between the parties have been focused solely on exploring options of ensuring striking employees return to work and did not include any wage negotiations," Anglo said.

The firm has said that its offer to the unions included the reinstatement of the dismissed employees, who will return to work on the same terms as before. They will however receive a "final written disciplinary warning".

Chris Griffith, the Chief Executive Officer of Amplats, said: "We welcome the opportunity to have presented this offer to the recognised unions and the strike committee.

"The offer provides a sound basis for employees to return to work and for the company to return to full operation, while maintaining our current wage agreement and negotiating structure.We hope that our employees will use this opportunity to return to work."

Amplats has offered a "once-off 'hardship allowance'" of 2,000 rand (£144) net of tax to help out workers in dealing with financial difficulties arising out of the 'No Work, No Pay' principle. Meanwhile, employees who didn't strike will bag a "once-off 'loyalty allowance'" of the same amount.

Striking employees will also get the chance for a payment advance which will be deducted from their future salaries over next year.

The statement said: "The offer is strictly subject to all striking employees returning to work and doing actual work/activities as required by the company from Tuesday, the 30th October 2012. The employees who do not return to work as required will not qualify for the offer of a once-off payment. The 'hardship and loyalty' allowances will be paid 48 hours after the successful completion of the return to work shift on Tuesday 30th October 2012."

Those who do not return will stay dismissed and could be subjected to illegal strike disciplinary action.

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