Anglo American Platinum update
Anglo American Platinum Limited ("Anglo American Platinum" or "the company") is providing an update on the ongoing illegal industrial action around its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult mining operations. It is now eight weeks since the initial safety suspension and the subsequent illegal industrial action by employees.
Anglo American Platinum announced on 18 October 2012 that it had entered into discussions with its recognised unions – NUM, UASA and NUMSA – and the strike committee to explore options to facilitate the return to work of employees involved in illegal strike action. The status of the 12 000 dismissed Rustenburg employees also formed part of these discussions, though they did not include any wage negotiations.
As a result of these discussions, Anglo American Platinum announced on 29 October 2012 its offer to facilitate the return to work of the Union and Amandelbult employees and to reinstate all the dismissed Rustenburg employees. The offer was strictly subject to all striking employees returning to work and doing actual work activities by no later than 30 October 2012.
The offer comprised a once off "hardship allowance" of R2 000 (net of tax), in order to assist employees in dealing with financial difficulties arising out of the ‘No Work, No Pay’ principle, and a once off "loyalty allowance" of R 2 000 (net of tax) for those employees who did not participate in the illegal strike. In addition, all employees affected by the no-work, no-pay principle would be afforded an opportunity to apply for a payment advance of up to R 2 500 which would be repayable and deductible from employees’ salaries over a six month period commencing in January 2013. The offer was not accepted by employees.
On 7 November 2012, management reopened discussions on the return to work with the recognised unions and representatives of the strike committee. The outcome of these discussions is that management has revised the initial offer to a once off allowance of R4 500 (gross of tax) to be paid to each qualifying employee, comprising a R2 000 loyalty or hardship allowance and a R2 500 safe start-up allowance to be paid two weeks after employees have returned to work and have commenced actual work.
Anglo American Platinum has further agreed to an early re-opening of wage negotiations. Any agreement reached would, however, only be implemented from 1 July 2013, in line with the current wage negotiation cycle.
If the offer is accepted, the understanding is that employees would return to work on Monday, 12 November 2012, after which date the offer will lapse.
The company currently does not have sufficient employees at work for safe operations in the affected areas and continues to carry out essential services only. Anglo American Platinum confirms that it is losing an average of 3,613 ounces of platinum production per day and has lost a total of 167,681 ounces of platinum production to date.
The CEO of Anglo American Platinum, Chris Griffith said, "We have previously stated that the operations are under tremendous economic pressure which is being exacerbated by the current illegal strike. The return to work offer that has been agreed with the unions and the strike committee will require almost R220 million to fund. The workers’ current demand of a salary increase of R4500 per month would cost approximately R2.6 billion, an amount that is clearly not affordable in a year when the company is experiencing such economic challenges. We have gone to great lengths to get our employees back to work and, should this offer not be accepted, the company will have no other option but to confirm the outcome of the disciplinary hearings for our employees in Amandelbult and Union and effect the dismissals of the Rustenburg employees."
Further updates will be provided as appropriate.
Posted: November 9, 2012