Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) embarked on a one-day secondary strike this week at Sibanye Stillwater’s platinum operations in Rustenburg, in support of industrial action at the company’s gold mines.
But according to Sibanye spokesperson James Wellsted, there were no disruptions at the operations. He said that on the day, Tuesday, when the union marched to the Minerals Council SA to deliver a memorandum of grievances about Sibanye, attendance was at 72% at the mines.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told City Press that the secondary strike had served as a warning shot to Sibanye. “The secondary strike was for one day as a warning shot. If the strike is not resolved, we will call a full-blown secondary strike,” he said.
On Friday, Amcu appeared in court to appeal a labour court ruling, which ordered both parties to subject themselves to an independent membership verification process at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which is meant to put to rest the dispute about which union – between Amcu and the National Union of Mineworkers – is the majority union at Sibanye.
Amcu is also appealing Sibanye’s court-approved takeover of Lonmin. Mathunjwa said the matter was set to be heard at the Competition Appeal Court on April 2.
The takeover was approved by the Competition Tribunal in November, a few days before the strike started, with a number of conditions – despite both Lonmin and Sibanye alluding to the fact that their assessment indicated that between 10 156 and 13 444 jobs might have to be shed because of the transaction.
The tribunal also placed a moratorium on all retrenchments for six months from the implementation date.