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Sibanye-Stillwater and AMCU ink pact to end strike

Mining News - Published on Thu, 18 Apr 2019

Image Source: eNCA
Sibanye-Stillwater reported that the five month strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at its SA gold operations, has been resolved. Both parties have acknowledged that it is in their interest to rebase and develop a constructive relationship going forward. The parties agree that in acknowledgement of the need for a constructive working relationship they will foster a safe and sustainable business that creates value for all stakeholders. The parties therefore agree to a facilitated ‘post-strike conflict’ relationship building program aimed at aligning leaders of both organised labour and management. Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman said "We are pleased that the extended strike at our gold operations has ended, without undermining other stakeholders or compromising their rights. We are encouraged by AMCU’s commitment to peace and safety. We are hopeful that the relationship can now be rebuilt in a constructive manner, for the future benefit of all stakeholders. It is with sadness that we reflect on the losses and hardship resulting from the strike, which include lives lost and serious injuries sustained. We are fully committed to restoring the gold operations to profitability, for the benefit of all stakeholders including employees, the local communities and those dependent on the regional economy."

As part of the agreement reached with Sibanye-Stillwater, AMCU has committed, inter alia to the following conditions:
- signing the 2018 three-year wage agreement* previously signed with National Union of Mineworkers (the NUM), Solidarity and UASA in respect of wages and conditions of service for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021
- affirm commitment to conclude a peace pact within 30 days
- abide by the decisions of the court and that no further appeals will be instituted or pursued
- developing and implementing, along with other stakeholders, a plan to ensure a safe start and ramp-up of production post-strike, and to promote and ensure sustainable safe production together with the company
Sibanye-Stillwater has agreed to, inter alia:
- an ex gratia payment of R4.000 for all employees at its gold operations in the form of cash or a voucher, to alleviate hardship
- offer a cash advance of R5,000 upon request of the employees which will be repayable over a 12 month period
- assistance with debt consolidation and counselling as part of the existing ‘Care for iMali’ program
- waive its rights to reclaim costs incurred on behalf of employees during the strike including contributions to medical aid and pension/provident funds, accommodation and feeding costs
- provide transport for employees to return to work
- any employees who were dismissed for strike related misconduct will be subject to normal disciplinary proceedings in line with the Company’s disciplinarily code and procedures which include the right to lodge a complaint in line with the formal grievance procedures

As a result of the agreement, the AMCU strike is no longer protected and all employees will been notified to report for work as per a build-up schedule which will be communicated internally in due course. The safety and wellness of our employees is our first priority and in line with our CARES values, the immediate focus will be on ensuring that the gold operations re-commence safely. Initial shifts will consist of fit-for-work medicals, training and assessing work places before mining activities can recommence.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 18 Apr 2019
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