Labour court rules extension of Sibanye-Stillwater wage agreement to AMCU is lawful

The Labour Court has ruled that a gold wage agreement between Sibanye-Stillwater and some unions, which has been extended to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and non-unionised employees, is "valid and lawful".

According to a shareholder notice from Sibanye-Stillwater issued on Wednesday, the gold wage agreement is applicable to non-parties of the agreement.

"As a result of the legally binding nature of the extension agreement, the company will now commence and participate with an independent verification process, to confirm the various unions’ level of representivity required to implement the extension agreement," the notice read.

Sibanye-Stillwater's three-year wage agreement with the National Union of Metalworkers, Solidarity and UASA allows for salaries to increase by R650 for the first year, R700 for the second year and R825 for the third year, Fin24 previously reported.

However, AMCU rejected the offer and instead pushed for a minimum wage increase of R12 500, with a R1 000 increase for three years.

AMCU embarked on a strike on November 21, 2018 and on February 20, 2019 issued notices to 15 mining houses for a secondary strike to run for seven days from February 28. The purpose was for members at different mines to strike in solidarity with members at Sibanye-Stillwater.

But on March 15, 2019, the Labour Court ruled that the strike would be unprotected.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said the court's judgment provides clarity to all the parties of the legal standing of the application of the extension of the agreement.

"It provides a clear path forward to resolving the ongoing strike in a manner which does not compromise our values or undermine our other stakeholders," Froneman said.

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