South African platinum industry halted by two major strikes, 2004

Very short article on two South African metal workers strikes.

A strike involving 17,000 employees at Impala Platinum’s mining and processing plant, near Johannesburg, began on September 30 2004. The dispute is over the terms of a wage deal agreed on last year between Impala and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Production at the plant has come to a complete standstill. A spokesman for Impala, which produces one third of the world’s platinum, said that the strike would cost the company R28 million (US$4.3 million) a day.

Four months ago, Impala sacked 1,700 rockdrill operators for taking part in what the company claimed was an unofficial strike. They were reinstated after the settlement of the dispute. On September 30, another strike began at Anglo Plat, following a go-slow at a number of the company’s mines.