Solidarity is grateful that Amcu’s five-month strike at Sibanye-Stillwater has come to an end. Solidarity is also grateful that in this agreement with Amcu, the company has lived up to its promise not to undermine the rights and position of the trade unions (Solidarity, the NUM and Uasa) that signed the wage agreement during the initial negotiations.
According Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis, the trade union also welcomes the R4 000 ex gratia payment to its members and other non-striking employees for the loss of income suffered during the Amcu strike. “Although our members have lost more than the said amount in income, it is, at least, also recognition for their commitment to a sustainable company and mining industry that they had shown by working under difficult circumstances during the strike,” Du Plessis said.
Solidarity also called on Sibanye-Stillwater to provide financial, emotional or any other appropriate support to the dozens of families whose homes have been burnt down during the strike, to the workers whose cars have been damaged, to workers who have sustained serious injuries, and especially to families who have lost a loved one due to the strike.
Du Plessis added that the various trade unions and the company should immediately start to rebuild relationships and to get processes in place to prevent a similar episode in future.
“Lastly, the focus will now have to shift to the current retrenchment process taking place at the company, and all the unions involved will have to join forces to prevent large-scale job losses,” Du Plessis concluded.