South African court orders miners’ union to suspend planned industry-wide strike

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South Africa’s labour court has ordered a mineworkers’ union to suspend its plans for an industry-wide strike from February 28 to March 7 until it issues a ruling on whether to block the action, the union and producer Lonmin said on Thursday.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has been on strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations since mid-November in a pay dispute and announced on Tuesday it would extend the strike to platinum and other mines.

Producers applied for a court order to block the action. At least 11 firms would have been affected by an extended sympathy strike, including AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin.

“The South African Labour Court yesterday ruled that the intended secondary strike at Lonmin’s operations is suspended pending judgment in due course and operations continue normally,” Lonmin said in a statement.

The court did not set a date for the next hearing.

“Nothing is going to happen until we get a judgment,” said AMCU spokesman Manzini Zungu.

Anglo American Platinum spokesman Sibusiso Tshabalala said employees at its shafts had reported for work on Thursday morning.

“As far as we know everything is normal. We are waiting for the judgment now, no one knows when that will be delivered.”