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Numsa stands in solidarity with striking Amcu and Num members

Numsa General secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso.

Numsa General secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso.

Published May 6, 2022

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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has on Wednesday called for mining firm Sibanye Stillwater to explain its refusal to grant striking unions the R1000 wage increase they are demanding.

In a statement on Friday, the union said it was dismayed by the inflexible stance taken by Sibanye management against workers' demands. Numsa also said it stood in solidarity with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the National Union of Mineworkers members who were on strike.

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The strike has been ongoing for ten months, and it is on a no work, no pay basis. Sibanye’s latest offer for the wages of gold workers is a boost of R850 a month, which equates to an increase of 7.8 percent, but the unions are asking for R1 000. The union members rejected the latest offer.

General secretary Irvin Jim, on behalf of Numsa, said: "The mining house and its shareholders must come clean and explain to the whole country as to what is the basis for denying workers their justified demand of an R1000 increase? Particularly, given that in the same sector last year, due to the current commodity boom, as unions in Harmony Gold, Numsa settled on a R1000 increase for the lowest-paid workers for each year over three years. We signed a historic agreement, which resulted in the lowest-paid worker, (who is currently earning R10 478), that worker will be earning an average of R13 478 by the third year of the agreement“.

On Thursday, on Sibanye's operating results statement, Sibanye chief executive Neal Froneman said: "Our final settlement offer is fair, takes into account inflationary living costs, and is in the interests of all stakeholders, and we will not be coerced into an agreement which may compromise the sustainability of the SA gold operations and negatively impact other stakeholders".

Numsa said it was irritated with Froneman for refusing to grant workers the R1000 increase.

"Sibanye-Stillwater has agreed only to increase wages by R850, while at the same time, the mine recently paid the CEO a whopping R300 million rand in share proceeds.

"The mining bosses have unfairly and unjustifiably subjected workers and their families to unnecessary suffering because we firmly believe that the mine is in an economically viable position, and it can afford to meet workers’ justifiable demands,“ Numsa said.

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