Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM – 10 July 2009 – Some 500 contract workers at the Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) mine in South Africa have been holding seven supervisors hostage underground since yesterday, the company said in a statement earlier today.
Mineworkers at the Crocodile River mine are demanding to be employed permanently, a promise they say they were given by management, according to a local radio station. They were notified early yesterday that management would renege on that promise, it said.
Meanwhile Eastplats said the miners’ demands were in contradiction of agreements in place.
“This demand and associated illegal action is not supported by Eastplats, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), or by the mining contractors involved,” the company emphasised.
Eastplats said the workers had staged a ‘sit-in’ in an underground area close to the entrance to the mine, and had refused to leave the premises. The company said it had removed all other employees from underground.
“Mining contractors are in the process of obtaining a court interdict which will require their employees to stop the illegal strike action, will enforce the release of those detained, and will ask those striking to vacate the underground areas,” Eastplats added.