Labour Court: Amcu can't strike in gold sector

The Labour Court has ruled against the union which was seeking permission to strike at gold mines.

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Court has ruled that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union ( Amcu) cannot strike in the gold sector.

The ruling was made a short while ago.

Amcu is already leading a crippling strike in the platinum sector which has been going on since January.

The union was seeking permission to strike in gold shafts after its members were forced to accept a deal signed last year by the National Union of Mineworkers which represents most of the miners in the gold industry.

Meanwhile, Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa is expected to address workers in Rustenburg later today on the response by platinum companies to additional demands tabled by the union.

Around 70,000 Amcu members at Lonmin, Implats and Amplats went on strike in the platinum sector in January demanding an entry level salary of R12,500.

The action has halted mines that normally account for 40 percent of global platinum output and has hit the country's overall GDP, pushing it into contraction in the first quarter of the year.

The strike has cost the industry over R23.4 billion in lost earnings.

It has also been mentioned by ratings agency Standard & Poor's as one of the reasons South Africa's credit rating was downgraded.

South Africa is home to 80 percent of the world's known platinum reserves.

Trade union Solidarity has said it expects up to 10,000 workers to be affected by downsizing and restructuring on the platinum belt once Amcu's wage strike comes to an end.