Johannesburg - Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] said on Tuesday
striking workers at its KDC East operations in South Africa are yet to return
to work despite the company issuing an ultimatum for the employees to resume
work or face dismissal.
South Africa is struggling to resolve violent unrest that
has poisoned industrial relations and marred its image overseas.
“So far we have no turnout at KDC East but the final
deadline is this afternoon,” said company spokesperson Sven Lunsche.
He said the company would provide another update at 4:00
p.m. local time. About 8 500 workers at the KDC East were issued an ultimatum
to start returning to work with the night shift on Monday and the morning and
afternoon shifts on Tuesday.
With the government now pressing miners to return to work,
more companies are resorting to hard-ball negotiating tactics to end wildcat
strikes. Some have been successful.
AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], the world’s No.3 gold producer,
told striking miners on Monday to return to work by Wednesday or face
Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS], the world’s largest platinum
producer, was the first to take a stand, sacking 12 000 workers at its
Rustenburg operations earlier this month.
Amplats’ Rustenburg mines have been shut since September 12.
It said on Thursday it would delay the dismissal process at Union and
Amandelbult, where it employs 20 500 people. It also said it was open to
discussing the reinstatement of the sacked workers with unions.
The strikes spread into other mining industries after
starting in the platinum mines. At Lonmin [JSE:LON] Marikana mine in Rustenburg
police shot dead 34 miners in one day in August, the most violent police action
in South Africa’s post-apartheid history.
A government-appointed commission investigating the
“Marikana massacre” heard opening statements from police, unions and Lonmin on