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Smelter strikes having no impact on ferrochrome output: Xstrata

Keywords: Tags  Xstrata, Numsa, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Wonderkop, Rustenburg, Boschhoek, smelters, Kroondal strike

JOHANNESBURG — A strike at Xstrata Alloys’ South African ferrochrome smelters that began Nov. 9 has had “little support with no impact on production,” the company claimed.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) obtained a certificate for members at the Wonderkop, Rustenburg and Boschhoek smelters to strike after a wage-related dispute was declared, Xstrata spokesman Christopher Tsatsawane explained to AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

“Some workers have been back at work since (Nov. 12), but not all,” Stephen Nhlapo, sector leader at Numsa, told Metal Bulletin. “Key operators at the smelters are definitely still out. The company cannot produce without these guys.”

The mass action at Xstrata’s chrome mine in Kroondal, where dismissed workers have gathered, is still continuing. On Tuesday, police arrested 37 people after roughly 200 barricaded the road to the mine. Xstrata fired Kroondal miners last week when they failed to lodge appeals within the prescribed period.

Production and financial losses were negligible at the mine due to the strike and dismissal of 400 of its 600-strong workforce, the Rustenburg, South Africa-based company said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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