Johannesburg - Exxaro Resources has approached the Labour Court to obtain an urgent interdict directing striking workers to return to work, the company said on Tuesday.
“It will be heard in the Labour Court this afternoon (Tuesday) and if granted, will be served on striking employees,” said human resources head Retha Piater.
She said this was an attempt to avoid the possible dismissal of striking workers by issuing an ultimatum.
“Engagement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) over the past week regarding proposals to find an end to the unprotected strike affecting the group's operations has to date not been successful.”
She said a central issue was the non-payment of performance incentives which were not paid due to performance targets having not been met.
Workers were on a strike at the Matla, Arnot, Grootegeluk, Leeuwpan, Inyanda and Reductants operations.
Piater said the striking workers did not achieve performance targets which would have entitled them to an incentive payment, and the company was not prepared to reward them with additional payments.
“The union's suggestion to resolve the issue of the non-payment of performance incentives was for striking employees to receive an across-the-board once-off payment,” she said.
Instead Exxaro put forward a proposal which included the payment of 2 percent of annual salary which would equate to a minimum of approximately R2000.
The proposal would have been subject to striking workers returning to their work.
“Although the proposal has been rejected, Exxaro is committed to continued engagement with its recognised trade unions in order to find a win-win solution,” she said.
The strike started on March 5, in Mpumalanga and spread to operations in Limpopo.
Exxaro mines coal and heavy minerals and was formerly part of Kumba Resources. - Sapa