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South Africa miners demand resolution of grievances

Story highlights

  • Workers at another South African mine return to work
  • They resume after the company starts talks to address their list of grievances
  • The incident marks the latest labor discontent in the nation's mining heartland
  • South Africans held memorial services Thursday for 44 killed in clashes at the Lonmin mine

Dozens of South African miners defied orders to work Friday after a deadline arrived for management to respond to their list of grievances.

About 100 workers at Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg refused to work and demanded that the company address the list submitted a week ago.

The miners resumed work after management held talks with six people selected to represent the workers, the company said in a statement. The two sides plan to continue working on a resolution.

What's behind the Marikana massacre?

"We are pleased that the meeting ended on a positive note and would like to applaud our employees for acting in a manner that assured their safety and that of their colleagues," the company said in a statement. It did not say whether the talks yielded any results.

The incident marks the latest labor discontent in the nation's mining heartland in the northwest.

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South Africans held memorial services nationwide Thursday for victims of clashes at the Lonmin Marikana mine. The strikes started as protests demanding higher wages, but escalated into one of the worst incidents of violence in post-apartheid South Africa.

The clashes left 44 people dead, including 34 killed when police opened fire on charging protesters on August 16. An additional 10 people, including police officers, died in days leading up to that.

A rivalry between two unions that wield a lot of power and influence in the nation added to the tension. The unions, accused of trying to outdo each other in negotiating wages, denied instigating the clashes.

In addition to the two companies, there are signs of labor discontent at nearby Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine.

About 1,000 workers protested this week to voice their discontent over wages. They resumed work after a day.

Fears of instability spread to other South African mines

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