Amplats shuts South Africa mining ops after violence
At least 13 workers were wounded by rubber bullets or machetes at Amplats' Siphumelele shaft after clashes between rival unions in the first major violence this year, which follows deadly strife in the sector in 2012.
"Operations in Rustenburg and north of Pilanesberg are on a stoppage this morning in solidarity with the employees injured from yesterday's incident," spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said in a texted response to questions.
The company declared the work stoppage illegal.
Some 10,000 workers gathered at the Bleskop Stadium in Rustenburg on Tuesday, angry about the company's interference in union disputes, said Amplats labour leader Evans Ramokga. "Nobody went to work today. Nobody is pleased with what happened," Ramokga told Reuters. "The workers want an explanation from management as to why they interfere with union issues. Unions should fight their own battles."
Police said the bloodshed was provoked by a dispute between the established National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the growing Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) over access to a mine office.
Amplats security officers fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd at the mine in the Rustenburg region, about 120 km (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. The production stoppage is likely to unnerve investors in Africa's biggest economy, home to the world's largest known reserves of platinum.
"What it tells you is the outlook for this year
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