Police fire rubber bullets to disperse clashing union workers in South Africa

Riot police dispersed clashing union members in South Africa during a worker's rally numbering in the hundreds in Rustenburg.

The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions organized a rally at Olympia Stadium but rival union members attempted to block the meeting, believing the group did not properly represent the miner's interests and too close to mine bosses.

Injuries at this point are still unknown.

The striking miners work for Anglo American Platinum mine.

The company says it will hire back the 12,000 workers that it had fired for striking illegally and grant them a one-time hardship allowance of $230. Workers are seeking $1,800 in monthly pay.

A growing number of miners have fired workers in South Africa. On Wednesday AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), South Africa's largest gold miner by output, said it has begun dismissing about 12,000 of its striking workers.

The strikers are impacting the country's economy, which is expected to drop from a forecast 2.7% to 2.5% this year. South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, said the labour unrest has cost the the country R3.1bn (US$350 million).

Image from Al Jazeera