Amplat strike action suspended

South Africa
File: North West premier Thandi Modise has welcomed the suspension of a strike action by workers in the platinum sector. She said, "The employer and the trade unions should avoid any actions that might adversely affect this relationship." Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The suspension of a strike action at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in Rustenburg was a positive development towards ending conflict in the platinum sector, North West premier Thandi Modise said on Wednesday.

"The suspension of the strike should be followed up with a demonstration of commitment by everyone to peaceful co-existence and building a relationship based on trust and respect," Modise said in a statement.

At least 5,600 workers at Amplats' Thembelani and Khuseleka mines returned to work on Tuesday after embarking on a strike on Monday.

Workers were demanding the reversal of the suspension of 19 Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) shop stewards who were suspended for participating in an illegal sit-in.

They were also demanding that the company suspend the current section 189 process and proceed with wage negotiations.

They also wanted Amplats to provide a guarantee that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will not be allowed to return to the operations.

President Jacob Zuma tasked his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe with leading interactions with the unions and mining companies to bring stability in the mining sector.

Last week, Amcu abstained from signing a framework agreement brokered Motlanthe for the mining industry.

The agreement was endorsed by industry roleplayers at a meeting in Pretoria.

The pact was aimed at resolving the issues bedevilling the mining sector.

-Sapa

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