After causing outrage over its restructuring plan, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) looks set to go through with the idea that could save the company's profitability. Amplats has significantly decreased the number of workers to be retrenched. First, however, it must get past the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
AMCU was locked in negotiations on Monday night with Amplats management. Both failed to provide an update of whether there were any agreements reached. AMCU wants a further reduction in the number of those who will be dismissed and for Amplats to retain permanent workers while letting go of contract workers. A compromise is what they are calling for.
But Amplats already has made a compromise. In January, the company announced a plan to mothball some of its mines, leading to a large drop in output and the cutting of 14,000 jobs. "We must evolve to align the business with our expectations of the platinum market's long-term dynamics and address the structural changes that have eroded profitability over time," said Amplats CEO Chris Griffith. Unions, the ANC and government were outraged.
Consultations with the Department of Mineral Resources and unions helped...