Labour issues spread to AngloGold Ashanti
Labour unrest that has struck the mining sector has spread to AngloGold Ashanti with workers there embarking on a wildcat strike today‚ says NUM.
By Kenichi Serino
Labour unrest that has struck the mining sector has spread to AngloGold Ashanti with workers there embarking on a wildcat strike on Friday‚ the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.
NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the workers have downed tools and were demanding R12‚500.
It is the same amount initially demanded by workers at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana mine who recently settled with their employer.
"We always had suspicions that this thing could spread anywhere‚ especially in the wake of the Marikana agreement‚" Seshoka said.
NUM has sent a team to talk with the striking AngloGold workers and urge them to return back to the mine for work.
Seshoka said a wage agreement in the gold sector would have to be settled through the Chamber of Mines‚ not individual miners.
He said there was "no point" of going on an unprotected strike.
"Basically‚ the message is to return back to work as we fight to resolve their issues."
AngloGold spokesman Alan Fine said the workers at the Kopanang‚ near Carletonville‚ in western Gauteng‚ failed to show up for work for the night shift or morning shift.
The company had not yet received any communication from the striking workers or their representatives.
Fine said the mine had a staff of about 5000 workers and was responsible for four percent of the company's production.
Workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine‚ in North West‚ returned to work after a six-week long strike on Thursday‚ after rejecting union representation to hammer out a pay hike deal with their employer on their own.
The strike has since spread to other mines in the area‚ including a chrome mine‚ where workers also rejected union representation and chose to negotiate for themselves.
The National Union of Mineworkers said on Wednesday that it was worried the Lonmin deal would lead to copycat demands.
NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said the union had been getting calls from members in the coal‚ platinum and gold mining sectors wanting similar increases.