All quiet on the mining front

2012-10-20 18:04
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - There were no further developments or reported incidents on Saturday relating to the recent strikes which have affected the mining industry.

"Nothing has changed over the last 24 hours and we're obviously hoping all the workers, including those from KDC East, will go back to work on Monday," said Gold Fields spokesperson Sven Lunsche.

"Both KDC West and Beatrix are working again and it's all quiet there."

Gold Fields had issued a final ultimatum to striking workers at its KDC East mine on Friday.

"Gold Fields, with the support of the board of directors, this afternoon issued a final ultimatum to present themselves for work starting with the night shift on Monday, 22 October 2012, and the morning and afternoon shifts on Tuesday... or face immediate dismissal," it said in a statement last week.

AngloGold Ashanti's spokesperson Alan Fine on Saturday said there were no further incidents at their mine near Orkney, where National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) officials and Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi had been pelted with stones by protesters on Friday.

Workers at Kopanong had told the NUM and Cosatu officials they would be returning to work on Monday while Vaal Reefs number eight said they would remain on strike.

All employees at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West returned to work on Friday after operations were again disrupted at the mine near Rustenburg on Thursday.

The sporadic labour disruptions were apparently in protest against the arrest of three mineworkers for their part in the 10 August illegal strike which had turned violent.

Ten people, including two policemen, were killed between August 10 and 14.

On 16 August, 34 mineworkers were killed when the police opened fire on them, and 78 were wounded.

The strike ended on September 20, when the mine offered the workers salary increases of up to 22 percent.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) last week agreed to delay dismissal proceedings pending the outcome of talks with trade unions.

Despite calls for workers to return, attendance levels remained below 20%.

"We are faced with extremely complex challenges that require innovative solutions that will address the very real economic issues affecting the entire platinum industry," Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith said.

"We believe that it is only right for us to engage with our recognised unions and work together to find the best way forward."

Workers have been on strike since September demanding a monthly salary of R16 000.

Read more on:    amplats  |  cosatu  |  gold fields  |  num  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  mahikeng  |  johannesburg  |  mining unrest  |  mining  |  labour

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