JOHANNESBURG, May 20 (Reuters) - South Africa's Lonmin has dismissed 235 essential services workers who were on an unsanctioned strike and defied orders to return to their jobs, the Business Report newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted Lonmin spokesman Happy Nkhoma as saying the workers embarked on the boycott on Jan. 23, when members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) went on strike demanding higher wages.
Under an agreement with AMCU, essential service workers are not allowed to strike.
"A court order to this effect was obtained on February 27 requiring all essential workers to return to work by May 12," Nkhoma told Business Report.
Lonmin officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
On Monday, the company said it had lost a third of its annual production due to the industry strike which its chief executive described as a "bleeding" that might lead to the firm's death if not stopped in time.
The strike has also hit the South African operations of Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, taking out 40 percent of global production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa)