Implats fires 13,000 workers
02 February 2012 | Sapa
JOHANNESBURG - Impala Platinum has fired 13,000 miners who went on an illegal strike at its Rustenburg operation, the company said on Thursday.
"Approximately 13,000 mining employees who participated in the illegal work stoppage at Impala Rustenburg, which started on Monday, 30 January 2012, and who failed to return to work by the deadline of Wednesday, 1 February 2012, have been dismissed," Implats said in a statement.
This brought to about 17,200 the total number of workers fired in the past week, the majority of the mine's workforce.
Implats said a process to rehire employees who wanted to reapply for their positions would begin in due course.
Workers downed tools on Monday. Implats successfully applied for an urgent court interdict declaring the strike illegal.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday Implats had gone back on its promise of further negotiations with the union on issues other than those involving salaries.
The company had increased miners' salaries by 18 percent, but had excluded rockdrill operators and other categories, and this had triggered the illegal strike, NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement.
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