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Illegal mine strikes have consequences

It has been said that our actions all have consequences.  Whether they will be good or bad is up to the decision we make.  The Illegal strike action at brought three of Glencore Xstrata’s chrome mines to a standstill will have definite consequences.  1 000 workers were allegedly fired on Monday 3 June.  The recent strikes in the mining industry will have a devastating impact on the broader economy in the coming months.  According to the company the strike (started Tuesday 28 May 2013 May) has not yet affected supplies to customers.

Most of the dismissed Glencore Xtrata workers belong to the Association of mineworkers and construction union (AMCU) and stopped working after a colleague was allegedly assaulted by a shaft supervisor.

Dismissed workers had until Tuesday 4 June to appeal to the dismissals.  These dismissals is to be a “hard ball tactic” to force workers into a deal but a similar action was taken by Anglo American Platinum in 2012 that resulted in dismissed workers being rehired in the end.  “A large number of mineworkers will lose their jobs, but the decline in economic activity will also affect workers in other industries,” says Professor Carel van Aardt, head of the Bureau of Market Research.

“Prolonged strikes in the mining industry generally have a greater impact on the economy than, for example, strikes in the public service,” Van Aardt says.  Only time will tell how this will affect South Africa’ current economical situation.

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