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Strike hits other miners

Sep 28 2012 14:27 I-Net Bridge & Sapa

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Johannesburg - Gold miner‚ Village Main Reef [JSE:VIL] on Friday announced that an unprotected strike had started at its Blyvooruitzicht operation in the North Western Province.

It said in a note that the strike prevented Thursday’s night shift as well as Friday’s day shift from taking place and that most of the 1 700 employees forming part of the National Union of Mineworkers’ bargaining unit failed to report for work.

“Management will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with its employees‚ their representatives and other stakeholders with a view to maintaining peace and resolving the strike. Village reserves its right to approach the court for an interdict as this is considered to be an unprotected strike‚” the miner said.

Shares of Village Main Reef fell 6.35% weaker to R1.18.

Underground sit-in

Meanwhile striking mine workers at the Samancor Chrome mine in Mooinooi, Rustenburg were staging an underground sit-in to demand a R12 500 monthly salary, said the Rustenburg Joint Strike Co-ordinating Committee.

"The workers vow to stay underground until the Samancor management meets their demands, which include a R12 500 basic salary," said committee spokesperson Mametlwe Sebei.

In a statement headlined, "Occupation of the mine in demand of a R12 500 basic salary", Sebei said about 400 miners have been underground with no food or water since Thursday.

He claimed that the ventilation had been switched off.

"The mine management has... closed the mine's water supply, in an apparent move to starve and dry (sic) out the workers... we condemn this stance taken by management and urge them to go underground to table an offer."

He said the workers were also upset because the mine would not allow them to hold big gatherings.

"Yesterday, these workers decided to defy that and decided to gather underground at the mine."

Sebei said the organisation would be mobilising community members to gather in the afternoon and demand that the miners be given food and water.

The workers at the chrome mine have vowed to stay underground until management meets their demands, said Sebei.

Additional to the R12 500 demand, workers also wanted a R1500 sleep-out allowance and a R1 500 underground allowance.

Samancor was not immediately available to comment on the matter.

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