Anglo American Platinum said on Monday it had dismissed about 50 percent of the underground workforce at its Mototolo mine over an unsanctioned strike. Photo: File

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum (AAP) said on Monday it had dismissed about 50 percent of the underground workforce at its Mototolo mine over an unsanctioned strike and gave them until Tuesday to appeal.

In a statement, the company said the impact on production had been minimal thus far and AAP was exploring options to ensure that Mototolo recommenced full production as soon as practically possible.

The General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) served a notice on AAP to strike at Mototolo on May 9, following a dispute regarding employees’ medical scheme after the purchase of the mine from Glencore last November.

GIWUSA employees embarked on the strike on May 12, despite AAP having been granted an interim court interdict against the industrial action on May 10.

"Anglo American Platinum has appealed to GIWUSA to end the unprotected strike and for striking employees to return to work," it said on Monday.

"These requests have been ignored and AAP has therefore been left with no option but to dismiss about 50 percent of Mototolo Mine’s underground workforce."

Fired workers had until May 21 to appeal AAP's decision, the company said, adding that it was disappointed by the conduct of the union and its members "at a time in which socio-economic pressures continue to detrimentally impact the sector and employment is so scarce".

African News Agency (ANA)