VENTURES AFRICA – JSE-listed platinum producer Atlatsa Resources Corporation has offered striking workers a cash incentive to return to work, the company announced on Monday, in a bid to bring production stoppages and unrest to an end.
The company told workers at its Bokoni operations that those who return to work by November 1st will receive a one-off return to work cash payment of 2,000 rand ($230.4), although those that have been continuing illegal and violent activities during the strikes have been excluded from the offer.
Atlatsa earlier this month took a firm stance against striking workers who have halted platinum productions, and began terminations of employment. On October 9th, the company fired 2,161 workers at the Bokoni mine who had been striking since October 1st, giving labourers a final ultimatum for returning to work if they hoped to avoid the dismissal. Only 643 returned to work on October 15th, as such 1,518 members of Atlatsa’s workforce was fired.
However, the company on Monday revealed that a number of dismissed workers have contacted members of the organisation, alleging that despite a wish to return to work, labourers are being subjected to intense intimidation preventing them from approaching the mine and resuming work.
It is in this context, that the platinum producer has offered the 2,000 rand ($230.4) incentive, in the hope that this will facilitate mass-returns to work.
The company announced: “In order to facilitate the normalisation of operations, Bokoni has offered a return to work agreement to all employees and dismissed employees, except those who continue to engage in criminal activities during the illegal strike action.”
Atlatsa also added that those returning to work will be required to sign undertakings that they will not participate in future illegal work strikes and production stoppages, and will not incite such activities.
The company added that certain training measures will also be required, saying: “On return to work, all employees are to attend a safe start up programme to ensure safe working conditions at the mine operations.”