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Lonmin rehires 6 000 workers

Lonmin had rehired two thirds of the workers who were axed for participating in an unprotected strike two weeks ago, the third-largest platinum producer said on Friday.

Lonmin said it had rehired 6 000 of the 9 000 staff whom it had fired last Tuesday at the Karee division of its Marikana mine near Rustenburg.

The workers had failed to pitch for work following internal issues at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

This came after the leadership of the NUM branch at the mine was dissolved, and both the secretary and the chairman were suspended from the union for failing to vacate their seats after a three-year term.

Lonmin spokeswoman Tanya Chikazana said that a significant number of the 6 000 workers who had been employed by Friday were among the 9 000 workers who had been dismissed earlier in the week.

Chikazana added that the mine would eventually hire a total 9 000 workers, and the employment process would be completed when the company had filled the staff complement that it needed.

NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said it was regrettable that the employees had been dismissed.

He said officials at the union branch were “corrupt, had solicited bribes from members and they had sold jobs”. However, they had mobilised members to down tools.

Mawethu Steven, the suspended NUM chairman at Karee mine, denied having orchestrated the strike. - Business Report

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