DRDGold strike action enters third week

Wage-related strike action by DRDGold’s employees has entered its third week, the gold miner said on Wednesday.

In a statement, DRDGold said that strike action by a total of 4 400 employees in the National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM) recognition units at the Blyvooruitzicht mine and Crown Gold Recoveries continued.

“Management’s offer of a basic wage increase varying between 4% at the East Rand Proprietary Mines [ERPM] operation and 15% for certain job categories at Blyvoor, together with a Blyvoor and Crown Gold profit-sharing scheme, which could add up to a further 8,5%, was rejected by the NUM prior to the start of strike action,” the company added.

It said management’s offer last week to increase the basic wage offer at Crown from 6% to 7,5% had been similarly rejected.

“The union continues to demand a 13% across-the-board basic wage increase,” DRDGold said.

It added that total daily production loss due to the strike action, mainly from Blyvoor’s labour-intensive underground mining operation, was estimated at approximately 320 ounces of gold a day, worth about R2,4-million at the current rand gold price.

“The impact of the strike on Blyvoor’s surface retreatment operation and on Crown [which is entirely a surface retreatment operation] has not been significant to date.

“Employees in the NUM recognition unit at ERPM have continued to report for work as usual,” the company noted.

It said a Section 189A 60-day consultation process in terms of the Labour Relations Act to effect retrenchments of redundant positions following the suspension of all underground operations at ERPM had been concluded on Tuesday.

At Blyvoor, a Section 189A 60-day consultation process on right-sizing the operation was continuing, the gold miner added.

On Tuesday NUM confirmed in a statement that it was demanding a 13% pay increase from DRDGold.—Sapa

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