Sibanye-Stillwater reaches deal to end strike at SA gold operations

18 April 2019 (Last Updated April 18th, 2019 17:46)

Precious metals mining firm Sibanye-Stillwater has reached an agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to end a five-month strike at gold operations in South Africa.

Precious metals mining firm Sibanye-Stillwater has reached an agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to end a five-month strike at gold operations in South Africa (SA).

AMCU went on strike in November last year at Sibanye’s gold operations due to a pay dispute.

The strike has affected the company’s production and earnings. According to Reuters, the labour action has cost the miner more than $100m in lost revenue and 110,000t of missed gold output.

As part of the settlement deal, AMCU has agreed to sign the 2018 three-year wage agreement previously inked with National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and UASA in respect of wages and conditions of service from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021.

“We are hopeful that the relationship can now be rebuilt in a constructive manner, for the future benefit of all stakeholders.”

The union also committed to concluding a peace pact within 30 days and abiding by the decisions of the court. Furthermore, AMCU will not pursue further appeals.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said: “We are encouraged by AMCU’s commitment to peace and safety. We are hopeful that the relationship can now be rebuilt in a constructive manner, for the future benefit of all stakeholders.

“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 are 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.”

Sibanye will make an ex gratia payment of R4,000 ($252.96) to all gold employees in the form of cash or a voucher, and offer a cash advance of R5,000 ($316.20) to be repayable over a period of 12 months.

The company also agreed to make transportation arrangements to bring back employees to work.