South African court blocks mine union’s plan for industry-wide strike

0
60
FILE PHOTO: Members of South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) chant slogans during a march to the Minerals Council of South Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Members of South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) chant slogans during a march to the Minerals Council of South Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

A request by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to hold an industry-wide strike covering the platinum and gold sectors has been rejected by South Africa’s labour court.

AMCU has been on strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations since mid-November in a pay dispute. It wanted to extend the strike to at least 11 other mining firms including Anglo American’s gold and platinum operations, Harmony Gold and Lonmin, Reuters reported.

“We welcome the decision of the court to grant an interdict against the secondary strike action called by AMCU. We maintain that a secondary strike by AMCU would not be in the best interests of our employees or the industry,” Anglo American Platinum’s chief executive, Chris Griffith, said.

In a statement, Lonmin confirmed the judgment.

In February, the labor court ordered AMCU to suspend its plans for an industry-wide sympathy strike following an application by producers.

Sibanye-Stillwater said last month it could cut nearly 6,000 jobs at its gold mining operations in a potential restructuring plan as above-inflation cost increases to labor and electricity gnawed at its margins.

Job cuts are politically sensitive in Africa’s most industrialized economy, where the unemployment rate is more than 27 percent.

Data on Thursday showed gold production contracted for the 15th month in a row, shrinking by 22.5 percent in January, while platinum production was up 8.8 percent in the same period.

Leave a Reply