The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called on the recently dismissed Impala Bafokeng Platinum Mine workers to return to work.
The union has said it has been successful in negotiating with the mine after it had acted against some of the miners who had instigated the recent underground sit-in.
In a statement on Monday night, NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said Impala Bafokeng Mine management had agreed to withdraw the suspension of 38 miners who had been dismissed for their involvement in the three-day underground protest action in December.
“The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is pleased to announce that Impala Bafokeng Platinum management has agreed to withdraw the suspensions that were issued to the 38 employees who were seen to have been the face of workers who staged a sit-in underground last year at the mine,” Mammburu said.
In December, more than 2 000 workers staged the sit-in over pension fund payouts, taxing of bonuses and profit share incentives. Reports indicated that the sit-in had turned into a hostage situation similar to the one at the Gold One Mine in Springs, Ekurhuleni last year.
The mine management later characterised it as an illegal show of force by employees.
Mammburu said it had taken intense negotiations to finally convince the mine to withdraw its decision to dismiss the workers.
“It was through the engagements and efforts of the NUM that the company acceded to our demand to withdraw the suspensions. The employer has agreed to revisit and re-engage the union on all issues that were covered in the demands raised by the workers once the situation has stabilised. In the meantime, the NUM calls on all its members to go back to work,” he said.
The affected workers are expected to report for duty as early as Tuesday morning, with the union saying all other issues would be further communicated once the employer has put them in writing on Tuesday.