JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The five-month strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at Sibanye-Stillwater’s South African gold operations is over.
Parties have acknowledged that it is in their interest to rebase and develop a constructive relationship going forward, Sibanye-Stillwater said in a media release to Mining Weekly Online.
In acknowledgement of the need for a constructive working relationship, the parties have agreed to foster a safe and sustainable business that creates value for all stakeholders. A facilitated 'post-strike conflict' relationship building programme will target the alignment of leaders of both organised labour and management, the release stated.
As part of the agreement reached with Sibanye-Stillwater, AMCU has committed to signing the 2018 three-year wage agreement previously signed with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and Uasa on wages and conditions of service from July 2018 to June 2021.
AMCU has also affirmed commitment to concluding a peace pact within 30 days and abiding by the decisions of the court and that no further appeals will be instituted or pursued.
A plan for a safe start and ramp-up of post-strike production has also got the nod.
For its part, Sibanye-Stillwater will make an ex gratia payment of R4 000 to all gold employees in the form of cash or a voucher, to alleviate hardship.
The Johannesburg- and New York-listed company will also offer a cash advance of R5 000 on request, which will be repayable over a 12-month period.
It will assist with debt consolidation and counselling and waive its rights to reclaim costs incurred on behalf of employees during the strike including contributions to medical aid and pension and provident funds, accommodation and food costs.
Transport for employees to return to work will be provided and any employees dismissed for strike related misconduct will be subject to normal disciplinary proceedings.
As a result of the agreement, the AMCU strike is no longer protected and all employees will been notified to report for work according to a build-up schedule, which will be communicated internally.
"We’re pleased that the extended strike at our gold operations has ended, without undermining other stakeholders or compromising their rights. We’re encouraged by AMCU's commitment to peace and safety and we’re hopeful that the relationship can now be rebuilt in a constructive manner, for the future benefit of all stakeholders,” said Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman.
“It is with sadness that we reflect on the losses and hardship resulting from the strike, which include lives lost and serious injuries sustained. We’re fully committed to restoring the gold operations to profitability, for the benefit of all stakeholders including employees, the local communities and those dependent on the regional economy," he added.