Amcu calls for disinvestment in Sibanye-Stillwater

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JOHANNESBURG, February 19 – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Tuesday said that it would be embarking on a secondary strike in the platinum and coal sectors next week in support of its members in the gold sector at Sibanye-Stillwater.

At least 15,000 workers affiliated to Amcu have been on a protected strike at Sibanye’s gold operations for three months since 22 November 2018, demanding higher wages.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said that his union would close down the entire South African mining industry once they embarked on this strike.

“We have started at Impala. We have been given a clear mandate that they are supporting the secondary strike. Lonmin is ready for the strike. We are travelling to Limpopo now for Two Rivers mine and all Anglo American mines where Amcu is a majority, we are going to put this mining sector into a standstill,” Mathunjwa said.

“Wherever Amcu has members, starting with Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti will be affected. All where Amcu has a recognition agreement, those mines will be joining Amcu.

“The mines in the West rand will be affected by the secondary strike. The mines in Rustenburg where Amcu has recognition will also be joining. And the communities are welcome [to join] because they have been robbed of their work.”

Sibanye announced last week that it would begin consultation on the section 189 process that could result in the retrenchments of more than 6,600 workers, including contractors, at its gold operations in South Africa due to losses during the past financial year.

Sibanye is expected to report an attributable loss of R1 billion (U.S.$77 million) for the year ended 31 December 2018, due to a safety incident and a strike towards the end of the year.

Mathunjwa called for the disinvestment from Sibanye, saying that the miner did not want to improve the working conditions of black mine workers and communities. He said the union would spare no resource to stop Sibanye’s “planned jobs blood bath”.

Asked if this call for a secondary strike would not result in another escalation of violence, Mathunjwa said his was a peaceful union that was always portrayed by the media as the enemy. He said his union members would not provoke anyone during their strike. (ANA)