Sibanye-Stillwater extends wage agreement to gold miners

Sibanye-Stillwater urged striking workers to return to work on 15 December.

FILE: The Masakhane shaft at Sibanye-Stillwater's Driefontein mine near Carletonville. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sibanye-Stillwater has extended the wage agreement which was reached with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), UASA and Solidarity on 14 November to all employees at its South African gold operations.

During the strike which was called by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on 21 November, the collective membership of NUM, UASA and Solidarity increased to over 50% of the employees at the South African gold operations.

Employees are now required to report back to work on the 15 December.

“The Labour Relations Act provides for the wage agreement to be extended to and bind all other employees to the collective agreement. As such, the Amcu strike is no longer protected, and all employees are required to report for work,” says Sibanye-Stillwater spokesperson James Wellsted.

Meanwhile, Amcu has accused Sibanye-Stillwater of resorting to underhanded tactics to discredit the protected status of its gold-sector strike.

The organisation alleges that Sibanye-Stillwater’s senior management has recruited members from rival unions the NUM, Solidarity and UASA and that the company has enticed employees who currently do not belong to any union during working hours.

Amcu claims this is part of Sibanye’s efforts to interdict its strike which started in November.

“For us, this reflects members choosing work and supporting their families, rather than embark on a damaging strike at this time of the year. This is a signal... employees have their own choice to go this route,” says Wellsted.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)