Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have gone on a protected strike at the Rand Refinery’s Germiston-based plant.

Rand Refinery spokeswoman Carina Morgan has said that about 35% of its workers are represented by Numsa and that the strike is a result of failed mediation over wage negotiations. The company has offered a 9% wage increase for the next year and 7% for the second and third years, but workers are demanding a 10% increase over the next two years.

This followed recent wage negotiations with Uasa and Numsa, during which an agreement was concluded with Uasa. Numsa declared an unsuccessful dispute with the CCMA, following which its members embarked on strike action.

“The Rand Refinery plans to maintain normal production during the period of the strike,” Morgan said, adding that an interdict had been granted by the Johannesburg Labour Court urging striking workers to conduct their labour action according to applicable legal parameters and the pre-agreed picketing agreement.

The union also wants polygraph tests banned, which have resulted in the dismissal of workers over missing gold.

Rand Refinery’s shareholders include AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, Harmony Gold Mining and Gold Fields.

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