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Deadline day for striking Northam mineworkers

Mine management will only discuss workers' grievances once the strike is called off.

FILE: The NUM says more than 5,000 of its members have signed a petition to have the company’s CEO dismissed. Picture: Northam Platinum.

JOHANNESBURG - Today marks the deadline for just over 2,000 workers to end an unprotected strike at Northam's Zondereinde mine in Limpopo over alleged unfair dismissals and calls for the company's CEO, Paul Dunne, to be sacked.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says more than 5,000 of its members at the mine have signed a petition to have Dunne fired over what they say is an attempt to destabilise the union.

Dunne previously worked at Impala Platinum and the NUM blames him for its decline in support and ascendency to power of its rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Northam spokesperson Charmane Russell says they will only discuss the workers grievances once the strike is called off.

"The intention is, once employees are back at work and once the union has made a commitment to return to work, management will engage with the unions through the existing processes."

But the NUM's Livhuwani Mammburu says the strike will continue in spite of a Labour Court interdict declaring it unprotected.

"More than 5,200 members signed a petition yesterday that Dunne must go. All members decided that they will continue with the strike because management does not respect our policy."

More than 7,000 NUM members went on an 11-week wage strike that ended in January last year at the mid-tier platinum producer.

The wider platinum industry is still recovering from a five-month strike last year by Amcu which hit the world's top producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

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