Kumba management negotiating in bad faith: unions
Kumba Iron Ore's Sishen mine management was negotiating in bad faith, Cosatu in the Northern Cape and NUM claimed on Tuesday.
"The company has continued to speak to individual workers to go back to work while sending others sms messages telling them that they are dismissed from work," they said in a joint statement.
"We condemn these divide-and-rule tactics by the company as they seek to set the workers up against each other and may lead into a violent situation."
The Congress of SA Trade Unions in the Northern Cape and the National Union of Mineworkers were "deeply concerned" at the mine management's attitude.
They said several of their proposals to end the strike had been rejected.
"We have done our best to try and resolve the unprotected strike that started on October 3. The company does not seem to be coming to the party," the statement read.
"This attitude gives us an impression that the company is negotiating in bad faith."
Kumba Iron Ore said it would not respond to every allegation made against it.
"We believe in following the industrial relations processes and structures in place. That makes it possible for addressing a wide range of issues," spokesman Gert Schoeman said on Tuesday.
"We are meeting with them and engaging with them on a regular basis, therefore we will not respond to each and every [press] release."
He said the company would meet with labour representatives at the mine at 10am on Wednesday.
The strike began on October 3 when about 300 miners on the night shift seized a fleet of heavy mining equipment worth R3.3 billion to block an entrance to a mine pit.
The workers wanted a monthly salary increase of R15,000 for all Kumba employees, over and above what they already earned.
Production at the mine was suspended on October 4 and the company was losing about 120,000 tons a day in production. Production increased on Monday.
On Friday, 47 workers arrested on the company's instruction would apply for bail in the Kathu Magistrate's Court.
Cosatu and the NUM said all workers at the Sishen mine would march on Friday morning, ahead of attending the bail hearing, to hand over a memorandum of grievances to company management and the justice department.
Most of the illegal strikers ignored an ultimatum to leave the mine and report for disciplinary hearings last Monday. About 120 strikers were dismissed after they failed to attend the hearings.