Sibanye-Stillwater expects more violence as Amcu strike continues
Sibanye-Stillwater is expecting violence to continue at its gold mines after the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) started striking on Wednesday last week.
“The situation at the Beatrix and Driefontein operations, in particular, remains tense, with striking workers causing damage to company property and restricting access to the company’s operating mine sites,” the company said on Wednesday.
“These violent actions are in direct contravention of the interdict granted by the labour court to Sibanye-Stillwater on Thursday November 22 and as a result is in contempt of court.”
This comes after a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) member was shot and killed and four others were injured last week Wednesday at the Beatrix mine in Welkom.
Amcu general secretary Jeff Mphahlele said during a media briefing on Thursday afternoon in Rosebank, Johannesburg, they were still gathering information about the incident.
“As of now, we cannot confirm that there was a NUM member that was killed.” Mphahlele confirmed the death but could not say if it was a NUM or Amcu member. “There has been no clarity [yet].”
The company said on Monday it remained relatively stable at the weekend, with visible intimidation limited to the Beatrix operations in the Free State.
Sibanye-Stillwater employs about 32,200 people at its gold operations. Amcu represents about 43% of employees in the bargaining unit.
The company said it respects the rights of Amcu members to strike, while upholding the right of employees who choose to work.
“By their unlawful actions, striking employees are preventing other employees from exercising their right to work, thereby inflicting financial hardship on employees who do not wish to strike.”
Sibanye-Stillwater said management continues to speak to Amcu leadership to try and find an amicable solution, to respect the rights of workers and “avoid further violence”.
Sibanye-Stillwater signed a three-year wage agreement with trade unions National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and Uasa on November 14 which it deems “in excess of inflation”.
Sibanye-Stillwater claims it tried to negotiate with Amcu since June but “despite having participated in the construct of the final offer, Amcu declined to accept the offer”.