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Workers at Lanxess mine to return to work after sit-in

Workers at the Lanxess Chrome Mine in Rustenburg will return to work Monday after staging a sit-in for over a week.

Outside the Lanxess Chrome Mine in Rustenburg where miners staged an underground protest against a mine captain who was alleged to have sexually assaulted and victimised a female employee. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – Workers at the Lanxess Chrome Mine in Rustenburg will return to work Monday after staging a sit-in for over a week.

Two hundred and ninety miners were part of the sit-in over allegations of sexual harassment and the dismissal of 56 of their colleagues.

Unions signed an agreement with mine management last week, bringing the demonstration to an end.

Twelve workers had to be hospitalised during the prolonged protest.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said that mine management agreed to the majority of their demands, including that the alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment, who is a manager at the mine, has be suspended.

“There would be an investigation held by an external body. This investigation will look at not just the accusations that were made by our members but also it will look at the conduct of the HR manager.”

She said the union also struck a deal to ensure that the 56 miners that were dismissed can return to work.

“Twenty-four of those employees were immediately reinstated because they had been fired after participating in a community protest. The others, who were also unfairly dismissed, their dismissals have been reversed.”

While all the workers will clock in at the mine this morning, they will undergo a health test to determine if they are fit to go underground.

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