DRDGold rules out improving wage offer to end strike

The strike over wages at DRDGold’s operations continued on Friday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.

This followed a bid by the company on Thursday to have the court declare the strike illegal.

“The court rejected the bid,” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told Sapa.

Members of NUM began the strike at the Blyvoor mine on Tuesday night, while workers at the Crown mine halted work on Wednesday.

DRDGold spokesperson James Duncan said the company was going to do whatever it could in terms of the law to get NUM to accept its offer.

“This doesn’t include improving the offer and we’re going to make no overtures to get the NUM back to the negotiating table.

“Our door is open and what we want to hear is that they have reconsidered the current offer,” he said.

Duncan said the Blyvoor mine had been “in trouble” before the strike because of seismic damage that had occurred there in June.

“The strike had just made the situation worse,” he said.

He explained that DRDGold’s Blyvoor underground operations was the company’s biggest, employing 3 900 people.

“Already there is a process in place to reduce the number of employees there—Blyvoor’s position is just getting worse by the hour.”

The union had demanded a 13% wage increase while DRDGold had offered a six percent hike.

The company had also offered NUM workers a gold price/profit linked incentive scheme, in terms of which their overall increases could rise to a total of 15%.

The scheme, was rejected by NUM.

Duncan said DRDGold was not satisfied that the NUM had communicated its offer to its members at Blyvoor.

“We’re doing the job ourselves on a sustained daily basis through leaflets and posters ... we’ll do whatever it takes,” he said.—Sapa

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