October 5, 2012 | 12:16 pm

The world’s biggest producer of platinum has fired roughly 12,000 striking workers in South Africa, the latest salvo in the labor battles gripping the country’s mining industry.

Anglo American Platinum says the strike is illegal under a September court order and has now lasted three weeks, costing the company more than $80 million. At four of its operations in the Rustenburg area, less than 20% of workers are on the job.

The company warned earlier this week that the company had “no alternative but to dismiss” workers who did not show up to disciplinary hearings on the strike.

“Approximately 12,000 striking employees chose not to make representations, nor attend the hearings, and have therefore been dismissed in their absence,” Anglo American Platinum said in a statement Friday. Other workers who attended the hearings would be informed of the outcome later Friday, the company said.

The striking miners reported…continue reading…