Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 April 2010 – THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it has ended its strike at Gold One’s Modder East mine, but the company says that’s not the case and the majority of its employees have not returned to work.
Miningmx.com reports that, in what appears to be a possible negotiating tactic in a wage dispute that has seen 800 out of a 1 000-strong workforce at the mine down tools, the NUM claimed victory in securing a living out allowance for its members, and that workers were prepared to go back to work now that there was agreement on a deal.
“It’s important to stress that no deal has been signed,” both NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka and Gold One spokesman Ilja Graulich said.
Workers had been prepared to go back underground yesterday, but Seshoka claimed they wanted assurances from the company that working areas would be safe after the month-long stoppage.
“No workers who were on strike have returned underground,” Graulich said.
“Gold One has been operating on a limited basis with 200 workers, mainly doing development rather than operating in the stopes. This has meant gold production has fallen to half of normal levels, but it does mean the mine has been kept in working order and safe,” he added.
“The agreement should be signed tomorrow,” Seshoka said. Gold One was not prepared to put any timeframe on the signing of an agreement.
“Gold One will release data on lost production and a full-year output estimate once the strike is officially over,” Graulich said.