Gold Fields gains right to fire workers
Johannesburg - Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] has obtained a second interdict against striking workers at its Beatrix mine in the Free State, and is considering taking action, the company said on Wednesday.
"Firing the striking workers is an option we are considering," spokesperson Sven Lunsche said.
"We obtained the second interdict, which gives us a right to [fire striking workers]."
Workers at KDC West (formerly Driefontein), near Merafong in Gauteng, went on an unprotected strike on September 9, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500 after deductions.
The strike spread to the West Section of Beatrix (formerly Oryx Mine) near Welkom on Friday, and to the rest of the mine by Monday.
Lunsche said attendance was between 10% and 15%. Only essential services were available, and operations had come to a standstill.
"We are not meeting with the striking workers, because they are not recognised," he said.
"We are encouraging the National Union of Mineworkers [Num] to engage with their striking members."
However, Num spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said it was not the duty of the union alone to ensure workers returned to work, but also that of the employer.
"They [Gold Fields] can't say that they won't engage with the workers because they are not a union or recognised," he said.
"The reality is that we all need to work together to find solutions to the current crises. The employers must come to the table and listen to the workers."
The union was worried that things were not going as they were supposed to, but were spiralling out of control, he said.
Num leaders were expected to address striking Gold Fields workers at the Beatrix mine later on Wednesday.
* Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.