JOHANNESBURG – (Reuters) – Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said it planned almost 7,000 job cuts at its South African operations including thousands of compulsory lay-offs, drawing an angry response from a labor union and raising the risk of renewed unrest at its mines.
Amplats (AMSJ.J), the world’s top platinum producer and a unit of Anglo American (AAL.L), had aimed for 14,000 job cuts after posting its first loss last year, but lowered the target after a backlash from the government and the unions, which organized a series of strikes.
After months of consultations with government officials and worker representatives, the company said 6,000 mining jobs would go and that “approximately 900 corporate and overhead employees will also be affected”.
The addition of white-collar job cuts might alleviate some criticism of the lay-off plan, since not only blue-collar workers would be affected. But at least one union saw the decision by Amplats as a betrayal, saying the company had committed only last week to avoiding forced lay-offs.
“We are shocked. Our agreement with Amplats was to cut 3,000 jobs and those jobs would not be forced retrenchments but voluntary severance packages. Continue Reading →