Strike interdict a ‘temporary setback’ – Amcu

2014-01-30 13:37

The fight for a right to strike in the country’s gold mines will continue, mine workers’ union Amcu said after an interim interdict prohibiting the strike was granted to the Chamber of Mines.

“This is a temporary setback ... we will continue to fight for our constitutional right to strike,” said union general secretary Jeff Mphahle outside the Labour Court in Joburg today.

“We have another chance to come and we believe that will be fruitful.”

Judge Edwin Molahlegi, on behalf of Judge Hamilton Cele, granted the Chamber of Mines, which represents the gold producers, an interim interdict prohibiting the strike from proceeding as planned.

Molahlegi said Amcu must return to court on March 14 and explain why the interim interdict should not be made permanent.

Molahlegi told the Chamber of Mines to make sure they put this message on notice boards across all mines, and distribute updates via SMS.

“The message should read that the Labour Court has interdicted the planned strike by Amcu in the gold sector, and if they continue with it, it would be unprotected. They should continue going to work.”

Amcu members vowed to strike after Molahlegi’s ruling.

“Protected strike or not ... we are going to strike for R12 500,” said a member dressed in an Amcu T-shirt.

Chamber spokesperson Elize Strydom said her organisation was pleased with the ruling.

“We are happy with the ruling. The chamber will continue to engage with Amcu, and also make sure that the members receive the message that they cannot go on strike as it would be unprotected.”

The union intended to strike in the gold sector after issuing employers with strike notices. It wants an entry-level monthly salary of R12 500.

Strikes were scheduled to take place last week at Sibanye Gold’s Driefontein mine, Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu and Masimong mines, and at all AngloGold Ashanti’s South African operations.

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