Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa addressing Amcu members at Sibanye's Kloof and Driefontien operations in Carltonville. Picture: Amcu official Twitter account

Johannesburg - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) vowed on Tuesday to continue with its protected strike at Sibanye-Stillwater's gold operations until its demands of a R1 000 wage increment for the next three-year period are met, and mulled a secondary strike in the platinum sector.

Joseph Mathunjwa, Amcu president, assured his union members that the strike will proceed despite the multiple attempts by Sibanye to hinder it.

Amcu has been on strike at Sibanye's gold operations Kloof, Beatrix and Driefontein mines since November 22, 2018, refusing a three-year wage agreement signed by the mine and three other unions and demanding a R1 000 annual wage increase for the next three years.

"Why is it that when workers demand a living wage of R12 500 all sorts of questions are asked and yet, when 12 executives at Sibanye-Stillwater can share an estimated R151-million in bonuses no one says a thing?" Mathunjwa asked. 

"When workers demand a R1 000 increment suddenly the economy is shrinking and not doing well, yet when executives continue earning exorbitant salaries people turn a blind eye. Amcu says no more."

Mathunjwa was addressing Amcu members at Sibanye's Kloof and Driefontien operations in Carltonville during the union's first central mass meeting of 2019. 

He said that this year the protected strike will encompass several marches to key locations including a march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), including a secondary strike in the platinum sector in support of the strike against Sibanye. 

"We want to show the Sibanye Stillwater CEO and executives that we mean business when it comes to fighting for and protecting the rights of workers. We will stand up and make them listen by affecting them where it hurts the most," Mathunjwa said.

Mathunjwa also accused Sibanye of using underhanded tactics by allegedly recruiting workers to join rival union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) as the verification process to determine which is the majority union at Sibanye's operation is in progress.  

On Monday, Sibanye said the mediator of the ongoing strike at its gold operations would approach the Labour Court to seek guidance about the verification of union membership after it (Sibanye) did not agree with the striking union about terms of reference for the process.

Last month, the Labour Court ordered the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to facilitate a union membership verification process at Sibanye's gold operations within three days, and report back on progress to the court by latest on January 7, 2019.

Sibanye currently employs approximately 32 200 people at its SA gold operations, with Amcu representing approximately 43 percent.

African News Agency (ANA)