Pretoria - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have vowed to lobby President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the two months strike action over a wage dispute with Sibanye-Stilwater.
Yesterday, the two unions said their protected strike at Sibanye-Stilwater’s gold operation had been characterised by peace and discipline among the almost 30 000 Amcu and NUM members.
The unions said the workers remained steadfast in their demand for a better life and livelihood while working in the belly of the earth.
“Sibanye-Stilwater has over the past years earned the title of worst employer among workers, holding the record of the most mineworkers killed in 2021 and the highest levels of inequality in the mining industry. Sibanye-Stilwater quite literally made a killing in 2020/21, thanks to convincing the government that the mining of precious metals should be regarded as an essential service.
“Thanks to the commodity boom which coincided with the global pandemic, Sibanye could pay their CEO a salary of R13 336 000 and a bonus of R13 304 000. They paid R5.6 billion in dividends to shareholders.
“At the core of the dispute which led to the strike is a mere R300 per worker per month. While Sibanye-Stilwater is offering R700, Amcu and the NUM demand R1 000 – for category 4 to 8 workers.
“This is the same increase agreed upon with Sibanye-Stilwater’s main rival in gold, Harmony Gold. For miners, artisans and officials, the unions want 6% while Sibanye is offering 5%,” the unions said.
The unions said they would not spare any cent to relieve the workers from the shackles of Neil Froneman.
“We will not allow him to continue to exploit people by using the minerals that belong to the people. He is not the government, and he is not the owner of the minerals. We find it strange and unsettling that our government is so quiet …
“Monday’s meeting between the leadership of NUM and Amcu focused on re-affirming unity when it comes to the labour dispute with Sibanye-Stilwater and they agreed to intensify the strike action by means of additional protest marches.
NUM and Amcu also agreed to exert further pressure by giving notice of a secondary strike at Sibanye-Stilwater’s platinum operations – where wage talks were under way.
“NUM president Daniel Balepile and Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa were also mandated to request the urgent intervention of PresidentCyril Ramaphosa, to resolve the current labour dispute at Sibanye-Stilwater.”