Anglo American’s Workers to Go on Wildcat Strike over Job Cuts

on May 16, 2013
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London-headquartered Anglo American Platinum (LON:AAL), the world’s largest platinum producer popularly known as Amplats, could soon see its South African workers go on strike over planned job cuts.

Amplats workers’ committee had asked South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to support a wildcat action, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, May 16.
Meanwhile, workers at another London-based platinum producer, Lonmin (LON:LMI), have started to return to work following a two-day wildcat stoppage.
Anglo American’s share price was less than one percent down in afternoon trading in London on May 16. Lonmin’s share price was also marginally lower.

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**Amplats Miners to Stop Work**
According to NUM’s spokesman Lesiba Seshoka, Amplats workers had asked the union to join a wildcat strike. Amplats said it had received no worker demands or a notice to strike. “We encourage workers to address concerns through management,” Bloomberg quoted Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole as saying on Thursday. “We are advising against illegal work stoppages.”

An unnamed official for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) had said that miners at Amplats’ South African operations would stop work from Thursday evening over the job cuts proposed by the company. “The night shift today is not going underground and also the day shift tomorrow is not going to work,” the official had said without specifying how long the work stoppage might last, Reuters reported on Thursday.

**Restructuring Plan**
On 10 May 2013, Amplats unveiled its revised restructuring plan that would see the number of jobs axed from 14,000 to approximately 6,000.
The company hopes that the revised proposals will serve as a basis for meaningful consultation with its employees and their representative structures, Amplats CEO Chris Griffith has said.
Amplats’ revised restructuring plan also involves a reduction of production capacity by approximately 250,000 ounces in 2013 and by an extra 100,000 ounces a year in the “medium term”.

**Lonmin Miners Return to Work**
And while Amplats workers are preparing to go on strike, Lonmin’s miners have started to return to work following a two-day stoppage.
“Yes, workers will go back to work,” AMCU leader Joseph Mathunjwa has told mining news website Mineweb.
!m[Platinum Producer’s Share Price Little Changed in London ](/uploads/story/2316/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
Lonmin welcomed the news but the company’s CEO Simon Scott believes that the upcoming wage talks would be challenging. “Wage negotiations will commence in the middle of the calendar year and we anticipate significant challenges in this process as we seek to manage our relationships with the unions that represent our employees,” Mineweb quoted Scott as saying on Wednesday.
**Anglo American’s share price was 0.84 percent lower at 1,531.00p in London as of 13:45 BST on 16 May 2013. Lonmin’s share price was 0.45 percent down at 266.90p.**

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