Amcu not backing down on massive strike at Sibanye-Stillwater
JOHANNESBURG – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Monday vowed not to back down on its intention to go on a massive industrial action at South African resources producer, Sibanye-Stillwater, over wage negotiations and basic conditions of employment.
Amcu gave Sibanye a 48-hour-notice of the protected strike action that will take place across all of the miner's operations from Wednesday midnight. Amcu members agreed upon a resolution to go on strike at Sibanye during a central mass meeting held at Masizakhele Stadium on Sunday to give feedback on the progress of the gold wage negotiations.
Sibanye currently employs about 32 200 people at its South African gold operations, with Amcu representing about 43 percent of employees in the bargaining unit.
The miner's operations that will be affected by the strike include, Driefontein, Kloof, Beatrix, Health Services, Property Services, South African Region and Corporate Office, Sibanye Protection Services, Sibanye Gold Academy, Sibanye Shared Services, Cooke 1, 2 and 3 (Rand Uranium) and Burnstone.
The strike action comes after the wage negotiations that began on July 11. Amcu members are demanding a R1 000 increase per year while the companies are offering R650 for the first year, R700 for second year and R825 for the third year.
Last week, Sibanye reached a three-year wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and UASA following months of protracted negotiations. Sibanye said Amcu's demands were unreasonable and unaffordable, and urged its members not to resort to intimidation and violence during their strike.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said that workers were not going to lose anything by going on strike because they have nothing.
"South Africa's natural resources are for us Africans. This exploitation must come to an end. Let us show the capitalist that we can unite as Africans. Let’s fix things for our children. We need to fix the South Africa that politicians have failed to fix. Politicians cannot expropriate the mines without compensation because some of them are benefiting from these mines," he said.
"No one will fix things for us but us. The strike will commence on November 21. We have nothing more to say to Sibanye-Stillwater. If they wish to meet with us with a view of resolving the dispute, we shall make ourselves available during the notice period."
Amcu will provide further details on the strike on Wednesday morning during a media briefing.
African News Agency (ANA)