Workers on strike

2015-10-29 06:00
EMPLOYEES of PMG Mining just outside Postmasburg protesting against poor salaries and working conditions with their demands listed on placards.  Photo:  Edward Smit

EMPLOYEES of PMG Mining just outside Postmasburg protesting against poor salaries and working conditions with their demands listed on placards. Photo: Edward Smit

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EMPLOYEES of PMG Mining (Pty) Ltd, 30 km outside Postmasburg, embarked on a peaceful protest on Tuesday, 20 October, to demonstrate their distress with regards to poor salaries and working conditions in general.

According to a spokesperson of PMG Mining, salary negotiations with the National Union of Mine Workers ( NUM), representing the employees, already started in July and the NUM, on behalf of their members, accepted the final wage offer made by the mine.

Amongst the demands that were raised by the employees during their demonstration were proper housing or a housing allowance, 12% salary increment, medical aid, backdated salary increase as from March and that the employer had to stop appointing HR consultants.

On the notice board at the main entrance of PMG Mining it states: “We are committed to sustainable development.”

According to management they have a good relationship with the local government, yet there is no proof of any sustainable development projects from the mining group in the broader Tsantsabane Municipality in terms of their social and labour plan.

PMG Mining has reported to have contributed financially to various community projects in the Khatu, Postmasburg and Olifantshoek areas. The mine stated that it was currently supporting seven learnerships, of which five were from Postmasburg, two of them being girls.

It further revealed that it had six bursary students busy with artisan training of which five students were from Postmasburg, including the trained 55 track machine operators in July.

According to PMG, it has also in the past year actively contributed financially to several corporate social investment projects, some of these include financial contributions to Woman’s Day activities of both the Dingleton police and the Maremane Woman’s Network which is part of the Maremane CPA of Postmasburg.

“We also contributed an amount of R50 000 to the Postdene Primary School for a planned sporting event arranged by the school,” stated the company.

Management also claim that 99% of people employed at the mine are from the local communities.

“The mine is actively following a process of skills transfer from the foreign technicians who all have valid work permits to our local artisans. We truly live up to our social responsibility and we are proud to be associated with our mining communities in which we operate, added HR manager, James van den Heever.

Employees demonstrated during their lunch break in front of the main entrance. The NUM urged its members to respect the negotiations and to adhere to all safety policies during their demonstrations whilst negotiations between the NUM and management were underway.

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