Today's Labour News

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strike thumb medium85 85BL Premium writes that it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has scored a tragic own goal with its three-month strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mines.  

Sibanye announced on Thursday that it was starting a formal restructuring process that could entail the loss of up to 6,670 jobs at five gold mines at Beatrix in the Free State and Driefontein in Gauteng because they were unprofitable during 2018.  It stated that the restructuring was not related to the strike that Amcu started on 21 November to demand a R1,000 monthly wage increase for each of the next three years.  The quantum of wages lost by about 14,000 employees, roughly half the gold workforce, who remain on strike means that even if Sibanye should relent they would take years to recoup the salaries they have lost so far.  The strike shows no signs of ending, with Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman adamant there will be no change to the wage deal in place with three other unions.  Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa is equally steadfast in not backing down.  Running a constructive restructuring process while dealing with the deadlock in the strike will be difficult, particularly given the nastiness prevalent in the strike in which three people have been killed, houses torched in acts of intimidation, and other acts of violence.

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