Anglo Platinum May Cut Further 900 Jobs in South African Office

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the biggest producer of the metal, may cut 900 jobs from its head office on top of 6,000 already planned at its South African mines as the company seeks to revive profitability.

Amplats, as the company is known, finished talks with labor unions on reducing staff, idling shafts and shrinking annual output by 350,000 ounces, the Johannesburg-based company said today in a statement. The number of workers affected will depend on measures to ease cuts such as voluntary severance packages, early retirement and moving employees to other positions.

Platinum producers in South Africa, the country with the largest known reserves, are seeking to curb costs after strikes last year led to above-inflation wage gains and prices dropped. “A month’s notice period for affected employees will commence on Sept. 1,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said.

Amplats agreed with unions to cut no more than 4,138 jobs, Alwyn van Heerden, head of platinum at the UASA union, said on Friday. Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union President Joseph Mathunjwa declined to comment on Amplats’ decision. The AMCU is the majority union at the group.

“I find it shocking,” Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers, said by mobile phone. “What they’re saying is not according to the agreement” for about 3,000 job cuts, mostly voluntary and redeployment, he said.

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