Fin24

Gold Fields obtain strike interdict

2012-09-25 17:35

Johannesburg - Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] has obtained an urgent interdict against strikes at its operations, the company said on Monday.

"The company has received urgent interdicts for KDC West as well as Beatrix West, and is applying for an interdict for the remainder of the Beatrix mine," said spokesperson Willie Jacobsz.

He said the company was evaluating all options to deal with the unlawful strikes.

Workers at KDC West (formerly Driefontein) went on an unprotected strike on 9 September, demanding a monthly pay of R12 500 after deductions.

The strike spread to the West Section of Beatrix (formerly Oryx Mine) on Friday, and to the rest of the mine by Monday.

"The large majority of the 15 000 employees at KDC West and 9 000 employees at Beatrix are participating in the unlawful strikes, and production has been halted at both operations," said Jacobsz.

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Comments
  • martin.green.522 - 2012-09-25 17:41

    These strikes are now getting way out of hand, and sadly it is not only the mining sector that get these problems.

      sebenza.vanrooy - 2012-09-25 17:47

      It's a sign of mine workers exploitation.They really work hard and the fat cats are getting fatter at their expense.

      chiepner - 2012-09-25 18:26

      I have to agree with sebenza on this one. Miners who do the base ground work of digging for gold which is the most difficult and hardest work in this country gets paid peanuts for what they contribute to the whole economy. Yes not all of us can be doctors, but then again who says that hard manual labour is not as important as the work a doctor does in his cosy office? I think that these workers do get exploited. If you look at the nice bonusses and salaries top execs at these mines fork in something just seems totally wrong. Same can be said with government parastatals such as Eskom. Their board members become fat cats while the hard work force gets paid "adequate" salaries. I personally think a serious re-think needs to take place in SA regarding awarding hard labour, but to suceed it would mean government will have to start making some changes which would have to start with them. Politicians in this country are the highest paid in the world while police men, nurses and other vital contributors to the quality of life in SA gets paid peanuts. Mike - if you honestly think certain people deserve to be "bottom of the food chain" I would then ask you why dont you take to digging in those mines for just 1 week and after you have walked in their shoes you might just understand that not being able to read does not mean your'e stupid.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-09-25 17:47

    If you don't feel like working you go on strike. You get back pay in the end. Gutless business leaders in this country.

  • deon.meiring - 2012-09-25 17:47

    These people are mad! ANC your baby is growing up! What are you going to do about this?

      chiepner - 2012-09-25 18:38

      Actually - Instead of investing millions in silly little projects such as Zuma Ville - that money could of been invested into upgrading the current living conditions of these miners. In this way the government would be able to directly invest in the mining companies which would mean that this could have a knock on effect in increased salaries and better living conditions for all miners. I do understand that most mining companies are greedy grunts - that said. If government actually pro-actively gets involved it would mean them having an actually hands on approuch to bettering the poorest of poor conditions and also forcing mines to rethink any excuses of not delivering on better salaries and so forth......but spending millions on E-Tolls (which a few million will land in someones bribing pockets) buying lekke over prised aircraft and building "Zuma Ville" (again money in someones pockets) is deemed much more important than trying to solve a problem that has been developing for the past 15 years. ANC promised these people better future - they need to deliver or face another revolt.

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-25 17:49

    Fire them, set an example to stop this rubish

      Erna - 2012-09-25 18:14

      That's the problem in this country. There are no consequences for bad behaviour - of any sort.

      Jaap - 2012-09-25 18:14

      Henk, I agree with you. They were not rounded up and forced to work on or in the mines. They did so out of their own free will. In fact 1000's still flock to recruitment agencies to obtain employment on the mines. But the problem is, they became to fat cat and have too much power without accountability.

  • Bafana Joseph - 2012-09-25 18:05

    so many strikes in the country i think is time to change LEADERSHIP of Jacob Zuma

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-25 18:24

      Time to change the leadership party.

  • Erna - 2012-09-25 18:10

    Unlawful strike - just like the one at Lonmin. So what - nobody takes a blind eye's notice!

  • wwerum - 2012-09-25 18:48

    Dismiss de bastards! Even majority qualified teachers don't get dat amount, so they r mad.

  • gretchen.adams.16 - 2012-09-25 20:17

    The Marikana strike has set a very dangerous precedent in terms of labour negotiations 1.The unions have proved their ineffectiveness with their own members and the negotiation process as a whole. 2. Violent thug like behaviour is accepted just because ppl feel aggrieved about salaries,how about all those qualified and experience people who can't find jobs in this country go on a strike and go and take out all those uneducated and incompetent ppl out of government offices. Jobs are graded according to different aspects and even though these ppl do not work in the best conditions it was known to them.All these ppl that say the executives don't do the hard work well its cause they ensured they aren't labourers and just cause someone sits in an office environment doesn't make their jobs less difficult you try and negotiate deals,balance finances and secure work for the 1000s under you!

  • john.gebert.7 - 2012-09-25 22:48

    I know am just an ignorant American and recognize I do not understand SA ... However, why does Gold Fields employ so many ? I've worked at Climax Moly Mine in Leadville,CO. (USA) and our output was 3x at 1/10th the number of employees ... a little automation and CAPEX sounds like it would go a long way, reduce the headcount and with the savings allocate it back to employees and the Company ...

      heinrich.etsebeth - 2012-09-26 07:53

      Mr. American, Please be complacent with the knowledge that you are in a country where productivity of your workforce is actually something to be proud of. The labor laws in SA is of such a nature that these idiots are protected. Even after obtaining a court interdict against these workers it is still not an easy matter to dismiss them from your companies employment. So the bigger issue here is not that the mines are really unwilling to pay more for someone that pulls their weight but that they are unwilling or rather cannot afford to pay more to the hordes of lazy, inept, ill motivated bunch of nitwits they have in employment. Due to the ineptitude of the SA workforce a company has to employ about 3 to 4 times more employees than is otherwise needed for a particular job. This cuts the share you can pay each worker. Thus creating the issue that is currently happening. Sad though that our dearest government, which your people forced into power by means of sanctions and such, is completely ignorant because they get to line their pockets at the expense of millions.

      john.gebert.7 - 2012-09-26 17:52

      Mr. Etsebeth, thank you for your insight to the issues, my key take away is that SA Labor laws hamper productivity, again I'm pretty naive to the situation, however, if I was GF leadership I would rush to automate and work on the numbers through attrition and buy-outs ... plus if NUM is a Union, is there not a pool of employees at the "Hall" ? (an American term for Union Members awaiting placement in Union jobs) which they could send to GF ? However it sounds like NUM is a Union in name only, and has no control over membership. I'm also a stock holder in GF (ADR) and see lost opportunity with gold at elevated prices. A couple of questions given your insight and closeness to the situation: 1. Can GF discharge the strikers and hire "economic replacements" (sorry for the American-ize terms), and would this work or be a disaster ? 2. How do you see it playing out ? American TV is implying a revolution is imminent. 3. Can the strikers hold out for long given the weak "safety nets" for the poor ? I want to thank you for your response, I was in SA many years. My company AMAX sold mining equipment to a Broker. I went there to assure the drawings and the Ops. Information was transmitted properly. SA is a beautiful country, I enjoyed my time there.

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