Workers from the South African platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) returned to work after a brief strike on Tuesday. The picket began this passed week when the workers started their wildcat strike without the approval of their union. The mineworkers’ action came in response to the suspension of 19 union workers in the Rustenburg mining belt in the North West province.
Although short-lived, the strike shut down operations at two mines. The Association of Mineworkers and Constriction Union (AMCU) noted that their workers have returned to their jobs after the suspension was lifted from the 19 union workers. There has been no word about whether or not the wildcat strikers will bear any repercussions for their actions directly; however, Amplats has stated an intention to cut anywhere between 6,000 to 14,000 jobs in an attempt to make up for the cost associated with the wildcat strike and previous related strikes.
Perhaps Amplats intends to use these job cuts as a scare tactic to deter its employees from participating in future pickets. As the world’s largest producer of platinum, Amplats cannot afford to be afflicted by anymore strikes of this kind.