Implats confirms AMCU work stoppage at Rustenburg mine, looks for resolution

IMPALA Platinum (Implats) said it was confident work would resume at its Rustenburg operations by night shift today after its majority union, the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU) caused a stoppage related to inter-union rivalry.

“As I speak AMCU is addressing its members,” said Johan Theron, a spokesman for the platinum group metal (PGM) company on Wednesday.

“AMCU stopped the return to work today of contractors. It was an unprotected work stoppage in which they raised concerns about workers returning to the mine,” he said.

The background to the dispute is that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) had been luring AMCU members employed at contractors to its own ranks. The competition between unions is an industry-wide phenomenon, said Theron.

Competition heated up about two weeks ago with contractor employees not attending work at Implats so that they complete the process of switching unions. This impacted Implats to a limited extent because the company could draft in other contractors, said Theron.

“It has mainly affected No. 1 shaft that mostly uses contractors. This is a shaft where we have tried to extend the life through the use of contractors,” he said.

AMCU raised objections to the sudden return to work of many contractors citing risks to Covid-19 protocols. It was important to AMCU to demonstrate it had this strength and the switch of union members among contractors was not a victory for NUMSA, said Theron.

According to an industry source, other operations in the platinum belt had not been affected to date.


  1. I just talk with a high ranking friend at the mines this morning. You can get all the money you want but if there is no food to buy you have a problem. Many of the trucks for shipping have been burned.
    Hi my friend,
    I have been on the line with Mr. Davis . He is in charge of most of the Pl & Pa that come from the
    mines in S. Africa. He says his wife just came back from the store with nothing. It’s real scary there and here is how it’s going to affect us:
    As you know: South Africa produces 72%, 36%, 82%, 81% and 87% of platinum, palladium, rhodium ruthenium and iridium respectively JM), (SFA Oxford).

    We got a real problem brewing!!


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