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South African platinum workers strike over job cut plans
guardian.co.uk ^ | Wednesday 16 January 2013 13.14 EST | Alex Duval Smith in Cape Town

Posted on 01/16/2013 11:22:15 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin

The South African government and its trade union allies are attempting to head off a new crisis in the mining industry after platinum workers at three pits downed tools on Wednesday in protest at plans by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) to cut 14,000 jobs.

Mining minister Susan Shabangu said the world's biggest platinum producer failed to consult properly with the government before making the announcement to close four pits.

The halt in production after the spontaneous downing of tools by key groups of Amplats miners drew fears of a new crisis in South African mines.

Amid a breakdown in labour relations, more than 50 people were killed in violent strikes in the platinum belt, near Rustenburg, west of Pretoria, in August and September last year. The worst violence happened at Lonmin's Marikana mine where 34 demonstrators were killed and 78 injured when police opened fire with live ammunition on 16 August.

The strikes in the mining sector – which employs more than 400,000 people in South Africa – spread to gold and iron ore mines, causing the country's biggest trade deficit for four years as it was downgraded by ratings agencies.

The National Union of Mineworkers said it would meet its shop stewards at Amplats on Thursday to try to convince them not to call a strike. "If they go on an unprotected strike, the employer will easily dismiss them without any retrenchment packages," said NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka.

But last year's mining strikes demonstrated that the NUM has lost its influence among the rank-and-file of South African miners. They consider the NUM — which fought for the rights of low-skilled black miners during apartheid — to be too close to African National Congress figures who have benefited from black empowerment deals.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs
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1 posted on 01/16/2013 11:22:21 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Dang! So much for the trillion dollar coin. Maybe a more fitting material would be plastic.


2 posted on 01/16/2013 11:28:21 AM PST by WinMod70
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Maybe they want the platinum for themselves so they can mint a 1 treelion dollar coin....


3 posted on 01/16/2013 11:37:50 AM PST by GraceG
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To: WinMod70

A more fitting material would be “Bio-Degradable-Corn-Based-Plastic” made using government subsidized corn and using more energy to make than just making the damn thing out of EEEEEVIL oil from the ground....


4 posted on 01/16/2013 11:40:49 AM PST by GraceG
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