12,000 South African Mineworkers Fired

Posted October 5th, 2012 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
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The world's largest platinum producer has fired 12,000 mineworkers in South Africa.

Anglo American Platinum announced the dismissals Friday, saying the workers from its Rustenberg mine had not shown up for disciplinary hearings related to an illegal strike.

The company says the three-week work stoppage has cost $80 million in lost revenue.

South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers says it will try to negotiate with Anglo American in hopes of heading off unrest.

On Thursday, a mineworker was found dead after police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse a protest near the Rustenberg mine.

South Africa's mining sector has been roiled by a series of strikes and protests since a violent strike at a platinum mine in Marikana township in August.

Forty-six people died during that strike, including 34 in a shooting by police.

Those workers eventually won a 22 percent pay raise, sparking calls for pay hikes by workers at other mines.