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Unions plan strike at Sibanye's platinum operations

An NUM official told Reuters the unions were yet to give official notice for the strike or announce a start date.
An NUM official told Reuters the unions were yet to give official notice for the strike or announce a start date.
Image: Sowetan

Two of the country's biggest mineworkers' unions said on Tuesday that workers at Sibanye-Stillwater's platinum operations plan to go on strike to show their support for gold miners locked in a wage dispute with the company.

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have been on strike at Sibanye's gold operations since March 9, demanding an increase of 1,000 rand ($68.72) per month over the next three years.

To show solidarity with the gold miners, close to 35,000 workers are expected to down tools at Sibanye's platinum group metal operations at Rustenburg and Marikana.

An NUM official told Reuters the unions were yet to give official notice for the strike or announce a start date.

Sibanye has said it will not increase its final offer of a 5% increase for miners, artisans and officials and an annual increase of 800 rand a month each year for “unskilled and semi-skilled” employees between 2022 and 2024.

“The workers are strong in their conviction, and they remain steadfast in their demand for a better life and livelihood while working in the belly of the earth,” the two unions said in a joint statement.

Sibanye was not immediately available to comment. A strike at Sibanye's SA platinum operations, which accounted for more than 70% of the group's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the year ended December 2021, would hurt profitability.

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