South Africa’s mine reopens

South Africa’s mine reopens

MARIKANA, South Africa - Agence France-Presse
Embattled platinum miner Lonmin said yesterday it had reopened its facility in South Africa after an 11-day wildcat strike that left 44 dead, most of them gunned down by police.

The world’s third-largest platinum miner also softened its tone, extending by another day its deadline for 3,000 strikers to return to the job. After earlier threatening to sack them, the company also said they could face “disciplinary action.”

“Lonmin can confirm that work at its Marikana operations resumed today as significant numbers of employees returned to work. Almost one third of the 28,000-strong workforce reported for their morning shifts on Monday,” it said.

Company gives extra day

Lonmin had pulled down its shutters last week after 3,000 rock drill operators embarked on a violent strike that initially claimed 10 lives before police shot dead 34 of the protesters on Aug. 16. The company at the weekend urged its 25,000 non-striking workers and 10,000 contractors to return to the job, insisting they will be safe.

“Those illegal strikers who did not return to work this morning will not be dismissed and have been allowed an extra day in light of current circumstances,” the company said in a statement.