Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 November 2010 – A strike by hundreds of miners at Gold Fields Limited’s South Deep mine in South Africa has continued, with the company saying that it was open to further talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
Members of the union at the mine downed tools late on Friday, demanding that black people have a greater role in the management of the company.
“We will continue to engage with the union today, but at the moment the strike is on-going,” Gold Fields spokesman Sven Lunsche confirmed.
Gold Fields said last week that it had put in place measures such as stockpiles to mitigate the impact from the strike. The company had won an interim court order last month blocking a strike at the mine, but withdrew the interdict, assuming that an agreement for mediated talks had been reached.
The South Deep mine is still mainly in development and produced around 70 000oz in the July-September quarter.
The NUM has said that the strike would involve some 6 000 workers, but Gold Fields responded saying that only two-thirds of its 3 000 full-time staff at the mine were NUM-members, while the remainder were contractors.
The union has said it that it wants black people to have a greater role in the appointment of senior management, and it wants Gold Fields to change its procurement rules to achieve greater participation by black suppliers.
Gold Fields has said that such issues are management decisions.