Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has confirmed its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult employees have accepted the terms of the company’s offer and have returned to work. Management has put in place a re-integration program, which will include Safe-Start training and medical examinations. These operations have been idle for two months and it is important to ensure that activities are carried out to ensure that working places are made safe. In the interests of the safety and health of the employees, these activities must be carried out before employees can be allowed to begin operations. Once operations have started safely, production ramp up will begin.
The offer, which will be applied to all employees in the bargaining unit and will benefit approximately 48,000 employees, includes the following elements: the reinstatement of all of the dismissed Rustenburg employees; a once off pre-tax allowance of R4,500 ($505) payable in two tranches (the first payment of R2,000 hardship allowance to be paid two days after employees have returned to work and the second payment of R2,500 being a safe start-up allowance to be paid two weeks after employees have returned to work and have commenced actual work); a monthly pre-tax allowance of R400 ($45) that will be added to base salaries; and an undertaking by management to re-open wage negotiations early, recognizing that any agreements reached would be implemented in July 2013 to maintain the wage negotiation cycle.
The illegal strike action began in mid-September 2012 and has had a significant financial impact on the company. To date, the company claims it has lost 191,359 oz of platinum production. Amplats has repeatedly stated that the Rustenburg operations were under considerable economic pressure and the strike action was exacerbating that pressure and affecting the viability of these operations.
“We are very pleased to welcome our employees back to work and will work swiftly to ensure that real work and safe production begin as quickly as possible,” said Chris Griffith, CEO, Amplats. “We would like to acknowledge the contribution and support of all our stakeholders who worked tirelessly with us to enable the return to work of our employees. We are saddened that two of our colleagues are not here to mark this day with us. We recognize that we will need to spend the time rebuilding relationships with our employees as we continue building a sustainable company for all our stakeholders.”