Sibanye seeks to interdict Amcu strike at SA gold operations

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JOHANNESBURG, December 19 – Sibanye Stillwater has filed an application for an interdict to prevent members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) from continuing with a four-week long strike.

Almost 15,000 workers affiliated to Amcu have been on a job boycott since November 21 at Sibanye’s gold operations in South Africa which has been marked by violence and intimidation. Three people died and several were assaulted at the company’s Beatrix, Kloof and Driefontein mines.

Sibanye currently employs approximately 32,200 people at its gold operations, with Amcu representing approximately 43 percent of employees in the bargaining unit. Amcu members are demanding R1,000 annual increases in wages for the next three years.

They have refused to return to work despite the company’s recent announcement that it had extended the wage deal it signed with rival unions – the National Union of Mineworkers, UASA and Solidarity – to all employees at its operations.

The three-year wage agreement signed in October covers wages and conditions of service for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021 and allows for increases to the basic wage of category 4-8 surface and underground employees of R700 per month in the first year, R700 per month in the second year and R825 per month in the third year.

Miners, artisans and officials will receive increases of 5.5 percent in year one and 5.5 percent or CPI, or whichever is the greater, in years two and three of the agreement.

In the papers submitted at the Labour Court in Johannesburg late Tuesday, Sibanye said Amcu no longer represented the majority of workers at its gold operations. The judge will study the documents submitted by both parties before making a judgement and the protected strike will continue.

Sibanye’s share price was down more than four percent when markets opened on Tuesday following Monday’s Day of Reconciliation public holiday. (ANA)