AngloGold 'won't pull a Marikana'

2012-10-02 07:47

Johannesburg - AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] will not meet its illegally striking workers' demands outside the formal bargaining structure as Lonmin [JSE:LON] did, the company said on Monday.

CEO Mark Cutifini said giving into the striking workers' demands would only lead to job losses in the future.

"I have no doubt that the implications for those companies that have had to agree to increase wage demands will be job losses. Absolutely,... no doubt," he told reporters at the company's head office in Johannesburg.

"We understand what a Lonmin decision would mean for us as a business.... It would mean job losses."

In August, a six-week-long illegal strike by Lonmin mine workers in Marikana, Rustenburg, ended with workers and the mine signing an agreement in favour of the workers' demands.

According to the agreement, the lowest underground worker would earn R9 611 from R8 164, a winch operator R9883 from R8 931, a rock drill operator R11 078 from R9 063 and a production team leader R13 022 from R11 818.

A once-off R2 000 bonus was given to the workers as soon as they returned to work after the "no work, no pay" strike.

The mineworkers had refused to return to work until management agreed to a R12 500 wage demand.

Cutifani said the closure of a developmental project at Lonmin's Marikana mine was a sure sign of things to come.

"We've already seen one closure of a development project at Lonmin with the K4 shaft," he said.

"When you start closing down development projects, what does that say about your future?"

Cutifani said AngloGold Ashanti would not use the same strategy as Lonmin, even though 24 000 of its mine workers were on an unprotected strike.

Workers at the operations at its West Wits and Vaal River regions joined those at Kopanong, who embarked on an unprotected strike on September 20.

Currently operations at all gold producing mines had stopped.

Since the strike started, no formal demands had been made to management, but on Monday Cutifani said it had learnt, through different sources from "unrecognised" organisations, that the striking workers were demanding more money.

"If the current unprotected strike continues, it compounds the potential likelihood of a premature downsizing of AngloGold Ashanti's South African operations."

He said where downsizing and closures occurred, the mine was unlikely to re-open the shafts because of the associated costs.

Cutifani urged striking workers to return to work so a sustainable solution for all could be reached.

"We must be very clear in our message to all striking employees that if people return to work and engage in constructive discussions, we will find a pathway to a sustainable and shared future," he said.

Cutifini said the mine could not risk being seen as rewarding illegal, violent, intimidating actions by striking workers.

He said to do so, would cause an unsustainable future for the mine.

Cutifini refused to be drawn on how the mine would fire thousands of its employees or on how long the striking workers had before the mine decided to start dismissing workers.

He said that in spite of the ongoing strike, AngloGold Ashanti as a company was doing extremely well.

"From a financial point of view, we are in very good shape. We have the rest of the business operation..."

He said there was not much time left to remedy the situation within the operations sector of the mining industry.

"We have a small period of opportunity to turn this around and realise that many people will lose jobs, many families will lose breadwinners and have no other option of job opportunities in the country.... There will be many tears." he said.

* Follow Fin24 on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest

  • thabo.kubheka.969 - 2012-10-02 08:01

    Give the people what they want. The gold mining can afford it a minimum wage of R20000.00 is not so much the mines can afford it

      Kalari - 2012-10-02 08:08

      The problem is where does "what the people want" stops. When there is nothing left.

      David - 2012-10-02 08:16

      Sure they can, all they need to do is fire every second worker.

      richard.bosmano - 2012-10-02 08:16

      While we at it,should we pay our illiterate domestic engineers(gardeners) R10K. Then they will be making more then their employers,see if it's sustainable brain box.Clearly fresh out of school and wet behind the ears

      alan.gernet - 2012-10-02 08:20

      er Thabo - were you educated in Limpopo?

      jason.children - 2012-10-02 08:31

      A minimum wage of 20000 rand???? stop smoking your socks boet! you wont be happy until this country looks like Zimbabwe. Money doesnt grow on trees. There are repercussions to our actions.

      DrGonzoSA - 2012-10-02 08:34

      You might want to have a look at the economics of a deep level gold mine. They don't just piss money out like you might think. Recent increases in electricity prices have been enough to make a lot of mines marginal at best. And Anglogold have been looking for an excuse to downsize for a long time, so this strike is a perfect opportunity to close the marginal shafts with the result that miners lose their jobs altogether, rather than get an increase.

      juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-10-02 08:54

      Fire the lot and find 24 000 new people. With a 50% unemployment rate amoung young people it shouldn't be that hard to find replacements

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-10-02 09:11

      I WANT a Lamborghini, I WANT a house, I WANT I WANT I WANT. You clearly have no idea of the value of money!

      marthinus.oosthuizen.7 - 2012-10-02 09:59

      Lonmin's handling of the situation will cost the country dearly. Investors will think twice from investing. Then you get Thabo Kubkeka. Why comment if you know nothing about economics? Look at the operating margins of mines and you will see you are part of the idiocracy,

      dmalunga - 2012-10-02 19:32

      Thabo ke dumellana le wena morena,rea e batla chelete eo.anglogold ashanti ke company e kgolo hofeta lonmin,end of story

  • jacob.zooma.9 - 2012-10-02 08:06

    You gotto fight for your right's to party! Don't quit miners! Don't give up!

      jason.children - 2012-10-02 08:36

      no dont give up...............only another 5 years and you will have run this country into the ground. But hey it wouldn't be Africa without disaster and destruction right??? chop!

      conrad.marshall - 2012-10-02 08:50


      plategan2 - 2012-10-02 14:30

      Hey Jason, Zooma is just fooling around and you stepped right into the boobie. LOL! BTW, the rest of Africa is pulling up their socks with mining growth in Angola, DRC, Tanzania, Moz (to name a few) over or close to 10% per annum for the last decade or so. I've sold all my SA mining shares in 2009 when Bobby Godsell resigned from Eskom board and bought Yamana, Barrick, Goldcorp & others off-shore. I've also invested in Colossus minerals (CSI.TO) for it's exceptional platinum, palladium and gold discoveries, as a hedge for the shortage I expect in these PMG metals going forward due to problems over here. Very few foreign retail investors would touch SA shares with a 10 foot pole even before Marakana. There are sooo many great mining opportunities in the rest of the world - SA won't be missed with it's high cost, low grade mines and least of all it’s hostile and dysfunctional government.

      plategan2 - 2012-10-02 14:44

      Just checked out Jacob Zooma on facebook. SHE lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. LOL! BTW, I think AngloGold should be commended for putting it's foot down with regards to these wildcat strikes.

  • rofras.rassie - 2012-10-02 08:07

    Its your loss. you will submit to their demands. greedy CEO.

      lydonmcg - 2012-10-02 08:14

      Their loss? It's not the bosses who will struggle to find employment if the mines close.

  • khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-10-02 08:10

    Wait a minute, you WILL ultimately cave in, illegal strikes is what the govt and the imperialists bafoons understand very well.

      DrGonzoSA - 2012-10-02 08:36

      They'll just shut the mines down and go somewhere else where their investment is welcomed.

      juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-10-02 09:14

      Well the imperialist bafoons understands very well that SA would become too risky to invest in and pull all their money. Then we are looking at a 1000000% inflation rate. No Zimbabweans were lucky they could just illegally enter SA. What's SA people gonna do when they can't feed themselves, where are they gonna run?

      conrad.marshall - 2012-10-02 09:30

      hey khethu, this is just what Anglo has been waiting for - it gives them a legal way to close unsustainable shafts and get rid of an unproductive workforce. these illegal strikers have just put the final nail in their own collective coffin... Anglo plans to get rid of 15000 workers in the long run.

      DrGonzoSA - 2012-10-02 13:01

      Patrice Motsepe is the wealthiest mining magnate in South Africa. Is he a colonialist buffoon?

  • osmaseko - 2012-10-02 08:15

    This Nincompoop is arrogant, you've been exploiting miners for a while now and people have seen through you. You have more money to run the mine when there is no production? That clearly shows you have money to pay the miners. Now do what's right and give these people what they dserve, stop being a greedy CEO you piece of ish

      DrGonzoSA - 2012-10-02 08:37

      Do whats right and mechanise the mines like in developed countries. Better safety, better productivity and less employees.

      jason.children - 2012-10-02 08:42

      @Osmaseko who do you think finances the mine??? its the shareholders and if the mines operating costs increase to the point where the shares fall then the shareholders sell their shares and the mine closes. FFS education is lacking in this country.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-02 08:45

      A little money is better than nothing, although they are earning already more than some learned people. Miners have had yearly increases way above CPI for more than 10 years.

      DrGonzoSA - 2012-10-02 13:02

      Again, what would you say to Patrice Motsepe?

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-10-02 08:34

    Lets just hope they maintain this policy and dont give in! The Marikana deal was handled incorrectly,allowing precidents to be set for these unruly mobs!

  • neil.harris.370177 - 2012-10-02 08:47

    Hahahahaha thank you Thabo for making me laugh. What naive and self-entitled mentality you have. I am not getting into the debate of whether or not the mines can afford it. I live in an upper class neighbourhood and have 3 cars all to myself, shall I give it away cause "I can afford it".. Just because someone can afford it doesn't mean you are entitled to some of it. If they think they are worth more they should go work for Lonmin....

  • Teuneman - 2012-10-02 10:04

    A bonus after refusing to work. White people get laid off or never get bonuses after working their fingers to the bone, and these miners gets a dog biscuit as if they did something good. Shame on lonmin.

  • Simon Chabuka - 2012-10-02 11:16

    lets stop stereo types

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-10-02 15:13


  • - 2012-10-02 19:31

    Stupid idea, ok! U thnk if u cn giv us dt money we'll loss jobs? We beta loss it, giv us dt money. Boss!

  • pages:
  • 1