The majority of miners working for South Africa’s Anglo - American Platinum(Amplats) have gone on a strike in protest against planned job cuts by the world’s biggest platinum producer.
The company said on Friday that about 20 percent of staff arrived for work at the firm ' s Rustenburg and Pilanesburg operations, in South Africa ' s platinum belt. The strike was staged by members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union(AMCU) over Amplats ' plan to slash 4,800 jobs. The company initially sought to cut 14,000 jobs, but dropped the plan after objections from the government and unions.
“Production will be impacted by the strike action although sales will not be impacted at this point, ” Amplats said in a statement, adding, “The company confirms that the strike is legal. ”
The statement further noted that the company is monitoring the situation and working closely with local authorities “to ensure that there is peace and stability during the strike.” Meanwhile, AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa told South African radio, “We have to always be positive, but the ball is in management's court.” People in South Africa are sensitive to job cuts since the country grapples with an unemployment rate which is more than 25 percent. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) also pays a lot of attention to the issue as it faces an election in just over six months. In August 2012, violent strikes spread across the mining industry after a fatal police crackdown at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, where officers killed nearly 35 people in one day.