Mine strike set to continue

BY CHARL BOSCH - JANUARY 19, 2015

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has denied allegations that its members were involved in a violent unprotected strike which halted operations at Northam Platinum’s Zondereinde mine near Thabazimbi in Limpopo last week.

According to an article by Business Day, around 4 600 permanent workers downed tools on Tuesday out of protest for the company’s failure to reverse certain policies regarding sick leave. In interdict brought against the strike by the Labour Court was rejected by the union on Wednesday. The article also claims that production of 1 000 ounces of platinum, worth a daily revenue of R13-million, is being lost every day.

Speaking at a briefing on Friday, NUM chief negotiator at the mine, Ecliff Tantsi, said that the union was aware of around 30-40 miners attempting to end strike, but that they were not involved in the hostilities that followed. No clear indication as to the exact nature of the violence could be provided. Tantsi also couldn’t confirm rumours of weapons being distributed at some of the mine’s on-site hostels.

The union is also demanding the resignation of Northam CEO Paul Donne and other senior management, citing worries about the company’s future under his control as the reason.

He is a man who doesn’t believe in policies. He is a man who would suspend policies at a drop of a hat,” Tantsi said.

Reports have indicated that the strike is set to continue today.

 

CAPTION: Platinum bars. IMAGE sourced from ciombatore.all.biz