Johannesburg - The union that held South Africa’s longest mining strike said a lack of consultation by Anglo American Platinum on its plans to sell some assets “leaves a bad taste.”
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is “disappointed by the approach adopted by the company to make such a bold announcement without informing and consulting with the majority union,” Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa told reporters in Johannesburg today.
The Anglo American unit, known as Amplats, could cut employee numbers by more than half through plans announced last month for the sale of its oldest and deepest mines.
The company’s first-half profit dropped 88 percent because of the strike by the Amcu.
“The announcement was received through the public media without formal consultations,” Mathunjwa said.
This “makes joint consensus seeking in processes required by law difficult.”
South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources should ensure that Amplats follows required processes during the asset-disposal process, he said.
The union, which may meet with Amplats next week, doesn’t intend to obstruct the proposed sales.
“It’s within their rights, it’s their business,” Mathunjwa said.
Mpumi Sithole, a spokeswoman for Amplats, said the company has had “an initial engagement with all key stakeholders and we will continue doing so throughout the process.”
Amcu membership has risen to more than 100,000, with gains made in the face of violent intimidation, including the killing of a branch secretary at Lonmin last month, Mathunjwa said.
Police have disregarded hit lists of union members that have emerged after labor figures were mentioned during testimony at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, Mathunjwa said.
“We’re not aware of any hit list,” South African Police Service spokesman Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said by phone.
The commission is probing events around August 16, 2012, when police killed 34 protesters.
Police and security guards were among other victims killed earlier during a wildcat strike over pay at Lonmin. - Bloomberg News