Friday, October 5, 2012

South Africa's Amplats fires 12,000 wildcat strikers

(Reuters) - The world's largest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, fired 12,000 workers taking part in a three-week illegal strike on Friday, following through on tough talk over wildcat stoppages in South African mines.

Two months of labor unrest has spread from mines to other parts of Africa's biggest economy, causing political problems for President Jacob Zuma and his ruling African National Congress (ANC), the veteran liberation movement long closely tied to unions.

Shell said on Friday it could not honor fuel delivery contracts around Johannesburg because of a two-week truckers' strike. Police shot dead another striking miner overnight, taking the death toll to 48 in the worst labor unrest since the end of apartheid.

The rand fell two percent to within sight of a three-year low against the dollar amid fears the (ANC) is powerless to manage the spreading labor unrest.

Zuma has been criticized for his low-key response, especially after police killed 34 strikers at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine on August 16. Read More