Despite statements that it would forge ahead with the strike at some Sibanye Gold operations on Wednesday afternoon, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) tweeted that it had suspended the strike while it communicated with mine management.
An earlier tweet read that AMCU would hold a central mass meeting in Driefontein on Saturday, 09 April 2016 at 10.00 AM, the discussion to be held remained unknown.
Sibanye Gold on Wednesday said that it has entered into discussions with leadership of AMCU, and the union has agreed to suspend any industrial action at Sibanye’s operations, while engagement continues with AMCU and other representative unions.
Sibanye reiterated that it is committed to ensuring that the interests of all stakeholders are considered and protected, and that the viability and sustainability of its business is maintained.
“We will continue to engage constructively with AMCU leadership in an attempt to ensure a favourable outcome for all stakeholders”, Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman said.
This comes after Sibanye Gold was awarded an interim interdict by the Labour Court, late on Tuesday night, to prevent a strike at the Cooke operations.
AMCU served Sibanye Gold with a 48-hour notice on Monday informing it that the AMCU members will embark on protected industrial action from the afternoon shift on Wednesday 6 April 2016 to protest the wage settlement concluded with other unions in October 2015.
The Labour Court interdict allowed AMCU members to strike at Sibanye’s Kloof, Driefontein and Beatrix mines, but prevented AMCU members from the Cooke shafts 1, 2 3 and 4 to partake in the industrial action, pending the outcome of another Labour Court hearing planned for Friday 8 April 2016.
The union further noted in a statement that workers who form part of the essential services, including shared and protection services, at Kloof, Driefontein and Beatrix, would not be allowed to down tools.
AMCU president Joseph Mthunjwa said in a statement on Monday that he vowed to “bring the gold industry to a standstill” in protest of what he deemed “slave wages”.
He went on to say that while this was not an incitement of war, he believes that mine workers deserve more and that AMCU are willing to do anything possible to ensure they receive a living wage.