Amcu: Sibanye strike will go ahead

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at a Workers' Day rally. Amcu is demanding salaries of up to R12 500 at Sibanye Gold mine. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at a Workers' Day rally. Amcu is demanding salaries of up to R12 500 at Sibanye Gold mine. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Wednesday vowed to proceed with its planned industrial action at some of Sibanye Gold’s operations, west of Johannesburg, despite an interim interdict against the strike.

The Labour Court in Johannesburg, late on Tuesday, granted Sibanye Gold an interim court interdict against the strike at Cooke Operations.

This comes as the union on Monday served the company with a 48-hour notice to commence industrial action starting with the afternoon shift on Wednesday in respect of the 2015 wage negotiations.

The Labour Court interdict allowed Amcu to strike at Sibanye’s operations including Kloof, Driefontein and Beatrix Mines, but prohibited downing of tools at Cooke pending the outcome of another hearing on Friday.

Essential services workers cannot strike
In a media statement from the office of Amcu’s president Joseph Mathunjwa, the union said the strike would continue as planned but essential services workers, shared and protection services workers, who are stationed at Kloof, Beatrix and Driefontein cannot go on strike.

“We as Amcu confirm that workers at Kloof, Driefontein and Beatrix will go ahead on strike tomorrow, Wednesday, 06 April 2016 as of the afternoon. This is with exception of the members who form part of the essential services. Members who act under shared and protection services cannot go on strike,” the Amcu statement said.

“Furthermore, all members from Cookes 1, 2 3 and 4 cannot go on strike tomorrow as we are pending the further Labour Court argument on Friday, 08 April 2016.”

Amcu’s regional secretary Tsepo Motloi said the interdict prevented the strike at Sibanye’s Rand Uranium, Ezulwini Operation, Sibanye Gold Protection Services, Sibanye Academy and Sibanye Shared Services.

“Sibanye lawyers informed us that these operations are not allowed to go on strike based on the fact that as Sibanye, they are not one workplace but different workplaces,” Motloi said.

Amcu fights for more than its counterparts
Amcu, which represents 44% of Sibanye’s 44 000 employees, is demanding salary increases of up to R12 500 a month from Sibanye.

Sibanye reached a three-year wage agreement for a 12% increase in October with the United Association of South Africa, the National Union of Mineworkers and trade union Solidarity.

Amcu rejected the deal, contesting that it was a majority union at Sibanye.

In November, Sibanye said that it would not hold further wage talks with Amcu over wages, saying its members should accept the pay agreement signed with other unions. – African News Agency (ANA)

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