Amcu gold strike ruling expected

2014-01-30 08:25

A ruling on the legality of a planned strike by mine workers’ union Amcu in the gold mining sector is expected in the Johannesburg Labour Court.

Judge Hamilton Cele will today rule on whether Amcu’s intended strike could go ahead.

The union wants an entry-level monthly salary of R12 500.

Gold producers represented by the Chamber of Mines challenged the legality of the strike. The chamber’s position was that in June last year, Amcu sought an industry-wide wage agreement.

On September 10, the three majority unions at Harmony Gold, Sibanye and Anglo Gold Ashanti signed a two-year wage agreement. This was done under the umbrella of the Chamber of Mines, with the agreement extended to minority unions, including Amcu.

The chamber contends both the agreement’s benefits and binding conditions, including a waiver of the right to strike, were conferred to Amcu.

Paul Kennedy SC, for Amcu, argued last week that individual mines, rather than the mining groups they belonged to, should be regarded as the individual workplace. The “central pillar” of Kennedy’s argument, however, was that of Amcu members’ constitutional right to strike.

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