Gold Fields fires 8 500 strikers

2012-10-23 17:19

Johannesburg - Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] on Tuesday fired 8 500 workers who refused to halt an illegal stoppage at its KDC East mine, a spokesperson said.

"All 8 500 people who were on strike did not come back. They did not return to work, so we have issued dismissal letters to all of them," spokesperson Sven Lunsche told AFP. Workers have 24 hours to appeal their dismissal, he added.

Workers at the last striking mine of the world's fourth gold producer in Carletonville, southwest of Johannesburg, had ignored an ultimatum to clock in at 4:00 pm.

The firm let go 1 500 strikers at its KDC West mine on October 18, though most later appealed their dismissal.

Mass dismissals are not unheard of in South Africa and are often part of a hard-ball negotiating strategy on the part of mine owners.

Tens of thousands of workers across South Africa's mining sector have been involved in a spate of illegal strikes over pay and conditions.

The stayaways have crippled production in a sector that fuels 19% of South Africa's economy, prompting pressure from employers, government and even the workers' own unions.

  • tim.gordon.5011516 - 2012-10-23 16:52

    Having had sufficient warning, one must assume they did not want their jobs.

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-23 17:00

      GOOD! No more bartering with lazy, greedy workers who just demand, demand, demand. This is not the dark ages, it's not personal, just business. Time to grow up, South Africa!

      heathway.master - 2012-10-23 17:35

      Why should the striking miners be in the least bit worried if they do not come to work and all get fired. All they do is run off to Cosatu, who will then demand that they all get their jobs back again. It seems that old world rule that you make your own bed to lie in, does not apply to a large majority of the population.

      tobydt - 2012-10-23 17:40

      Now they can demand R12,500 from their grants.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-23 17:45

      Now they can maybe employ some South Africans, considering many of the miners come from out of country!! We should honestly look after our own first!

      godfrey.welman - 2012-10-23 18:27

      My tip to the 'new workers' don't join NUM.

      heinrich.etsebeth - 2012-10-24 07:37

      @kennth.meko: For the benifit of all you say. The benifit of all is to allow these companies, who are not by the way American Companies, to mine the minerals and contribute to our economy in a constructive manner. If you read the article you would have noticed that almost a 5th of our economy is based on the mining sector. This means that should you close down the mines then our economy has an effectively achieved a negative growth of almost -20% in the time it takes to kick these companies out of the country. Losing 20% of our economical strength is not a laughing matter.

  • sfortmann1 - 2012-10-23 16:56

    Good, they acting like spoiled brats, there are procedures and policy's with regards to striking, you can't just go on strike and ask for more money else everyone would do it, there are plenty of unemployed people out there that would be willing and consider themselves lucky to be working there, I say give them the job and let the 8 500 see what happens when you act like a bunch of babies! Work hard and get raises, that's how it works all over the world!!!! No where the people that are gonna bring out the race and apartheid cards?

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-10-23 16:57

    Lets see THEM DANCE now

  • mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2012-10-23 16:57

    8500 meaningless letters while we are advocating paperless environment. You know those letters are absolute waste of time. Its not even feasible for any organisation to fire so many people if its still plan to continue operations except in cases of liquidation.

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-23 17:04

      Rubbish! It's always feasible to get rid of bad workers who just demand, demand, demand and are too lazy to work properly. Get rid of the rubbish, and hire workers who are prepared to work. I love how these illegal strikes are backfiring horribly on all these tsotsis. Really funny!

      loki.scribus - 2012-10-23 17:07

      I'm sure they'll be able to find 8500 blokes willing to work in a country with unemployment of at least 25%.

      gareth.coats - 2012-10-23 17:11

      What tripe! This isn't the end, it's merely a tactic. The union reps are already compiling unfair dismissal claims man. AND - it's not like it takes a flippen degree to do their jobs! a coupld of hours training, and that LOOOoooooOOONG line of job applicants outside the gate is going to become noticeably shorter, in quick time!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-23 17:13

      Hell, for R 12 500 a month, I'll even do a few shifts.

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-10-23 17:22

      Hahaha, yes and no Mzwandile, all the miners have achieved is given Gold Fields the opportunity to clean house, yes eventually they will have to re-hire a workforce but now they have gotten rid of dead wood and troublemakers without going through the labour process. Now they can also interview outsiders. How much you want to bet that Goldfields will only hire about 5000 of these fools again. Bunch of idiots dont understand what a job is worth in today's times.

      tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-23 17:23

      Charles why aren't there any white RDO's or basic mine workers?

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-23 17:25

      Tamlin, says who? At this particular shaft or all of them around South Africa? I've seen footage of many white miners going down the shaft with their black colleagues. What are you trying to say?

      tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-23 17:52

      I don't see them striking at all, with the rest of them, whats your take on that?

      johann.enslin.9 - 2012-10-23 18:03

      @Neil Spot on!

  • Michael - 2012-10-23 17:02

    That right to fire people who dont want to work is enshrined in our constitution. I hope we all understand that employers do have the rights as well!

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-10-23 17:04

    Wahahaha... Sorry while I laugh a bit more...

  • ulrich.debeer - 2012-10-23 17:04

    Good job Gold Fields, don't be held at ransom! Down with all the Strikers and their Unions.

  • gvangreunen - 2012-10-23 17:07

    Eish ... they were ser.I.O.U.S with this warnings!!!

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-10-23 17:08

    They should blame malema. he entertained this chaos, now he's out of reach. Damn oportunists.!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-23 17:23

      The dictators always get the poor workers to fight their wars for them. Typical.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-23 17:51

      You are right Sthembiso. He said a couple of months ago he would make the mines ungovernable - he has certainly done so successfully - without a minute's thought for these poor people and the aftermath of his greedy need for publicity.

  • gareth.coats - 2012-10-23 17:08

    I don't know which comment to post first... so here are both and you decide! 1) That's how you deal with strikers! Thanks Maggie Thatcher... or 2) Hier kom a ding!!

  • Rob Allen - 2012-10-23 17:16

    eish what now.......we still wuuuunnnt

  • John - 2012-10-23 17:16

    There is no such thing as an ILLEGAL strike!!!!! WAKE UP!!!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-23 17:22

      Yes there is.

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-10-23 17:23

      hahahaha.... "unprotected" is too difficult to spell.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 08:32

      Illegal strike in the labour law sense. a Legal strike is when you give your bosses notice of your intentions to strike in the future after you failed in negotiations of salary increases.

  • - 2012-10-23 17:18

    It really doesn't make operational sense to fire 8500 workers! Watch GoldFields stock price plummet! Not the best business decision!

      Teuneman - 2012-10-23 17:22

      It does make HR sense. I'm happy money did'nt talk this time. - 2012-10-23 17:28

      Money does talk, production was lost every time the workers went on strike hence the dismissals. The workers are likely to be reinstated anyway.

      rui.d.barros.7 - 2012-10-23 17:38

      Haha bally - shows how much u know . Infact the share price increased after dismissals were anounced .

      tobydt - 2012-10-23 17:44

      bally - Their stockprice went up when they announced they will fire workers who wount return.

      rui.d.barros.7 - 2012-10-23 17:54

      Haha bally - shows how much u know . Infact the share price increased after dismissals were anounced .

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 08:35

      Actually some companies price went up after people were fired. Investors prefers problems to be sorted out.

  • tsepo.b.selai - 2012-10-23 17:19

    North West must brace themselve for a hike in crime, the more we have job losses the more crime increase.

      Duncan Colter - 2012-10-23 17:41

      No sunshine, it means work for a living. Crime is wrong and violence breeds violence

      tsepo.b.selai - 2012-10-23 17:50

      Well those who trust in the barrel of a gun, goodluck. There is a saying that says there is nothing dangerous like person with hungry stomach. Your guns won't solve the problem, as long as the majority are hungry and minority are fool then we are heading 4 a bleak future.

      johann.enslin.9 - 2012-10-23 18:06

      @duncan, was thinking the same thing.

      tsepo.b.selai - 2012-10-23 18:10

      Duncan have you seen how much we pay 4 security in our own houses but we are still not safe. Then some rejoice when people are unemployed.

  • john.dough.5836711 - 2012-10-23 17:19

    So the dog is now wagging the tail and not the other way around, awesome news!

  • Teuneman - 2012-10-23 17:19


  • tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-23 17:20

    I guess they watched Carte Blanche

  • altusvanzyl - 2012-10-23 17:23


  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-10-23 17:23

    The circus continues.

  • eugine.bouwer - 2012-10-23 17:35

    Another job loses and the disaster continues where is the president what exactly u did that was right zuma,this is the worsed disaster in the history of the sa

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-10-23 17:36

    Lovely stuff! Well done!

  • Leigh Nicholl - 2012-10-23 17:36

    that is 100% correct! no work no pay!!

  • badladballie - 2012-10-23 17:40


  • eugine.bouwer - 2012-10-23 17:46

    The poor are getting poorer the will be no more food on their families of 8500 ppl fired table,their kids need to go to school.we may as well have earn 8500 criminals trying to feed their families.

      Duncan Colter - 2012-10-23 17:51

      Holding the country ransom is not the answer.

  • labole.sethokga - 2012-10-23 17:56

    It not they must give workers what they want and stop intimidating them

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 08:47

      Asking to go to work is not intimidation. Strikers that stop others and threaten others not to work is intimidation. Maybe the strikers can go to Zimbabwe and work on theire mines, they only get about R2 000 pm.

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-10-23 17:59

    What will happen if all 8500 workers come back over a month with a letter from the Sangoma who booked them off. That precedent has been set. What a joke!

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 08:48

      It won't work they have only 24 hours to appeal.

  • jmokgotlhoa - 2012-10-23 18:00

    From the latest Carte Blanche report, this company is owned and run by criminals, fraudster, corruption. It is rotten down to the core. It has to be stripped of its mining rights as a matter of urgency, and a clean process needs to be followed, to award the rights to a deserving entity.

      tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-10-23 18:09

      You are right JM. It seems that ou country is rotten to the core in all sectors, civil and private. This particular mining bosses are not as I can gather on the moral high ground. They are stealing from the poor to enrich connected individuals. We are all fed up with the strikes and violence. But is this right?

  • tiaan.truter - 2012-10-23 18:01

    And they will get reinstated by the end of the month or in the middle of november...Coz why? Coz thats how South Africa rolls

  • Bfoq.Za - 2012-10-23 18:14

    Unions does not run this country... This was an illegal and unprotected strike. Good for you Goldfields!

  • diran.pillay - 2012-10-23 18:25

    Why do you side with these mining companies who make billions of dollars in SA! Are black workers not entitled to an above average salary? How has Gold Fields benefited you in your life that you are happy that 8500 workers lost their jobs?

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-10-23 19:11

      Try behaving like a hooligan, wielding pangas and bbutcher knives and murdering your colleagues in the process and see how that gets your employer's understanding of your situation. Negotiate like a civilised, rational human being, and if that does not produce the desired results, look and move to greener pastures

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 08:50

      They are making nothing while the strike went on. In fact they still have many other expenses while getting no income. We want normality at mines if it helps by firing people, so be it.

  • johan.jacobs.5268 - 2012-10-23 18:39

    What I do not understand is the mind-set of these miners. They went to Goldfields and ask for a job, and not the other way round. It looks like if you are hired you can demand and demand......... Surprise for them....

  • braamc - 2012-10-23 18:52

    Fabulous news for a change.

  • derek.debeer.5 - 2012-10-23 19:19

    I was in agreement with the Goldfields until I watched Carte Blanche something is wrong with the high-up officials money is going to the wrong people.

  • stanley.millar7 - 2012-10-23 19:52

    Idiots, do they know how hard it is to find a job nowadays. and the fact that they were fired striking illegally ain't gonna help with the CV.

  • annelise.vanderschyff - 2012-10-23 20:17

    After watching Carte Blance on Sunday how the hell does Goldfield justify the millions paid to shareholders how does Ashwell Willemse qualify for the shares he got! I am supporting the striking miners Willemse was a Springbok rugby player so if he can make millions why not the hard working miners!!!

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-10-23 21:32

    Annelise, I tend to agree with you. There is clearly 2 arguments to this story. On the one hand the miners have a job. The way they are dealing with their grievences is not acceptable to civilized people. They should be gratefull for the job they have. On the other hand there is the argument that the mines are making a lot of money, paving there way with bribes and shares to connected ANC caders. I am just wondering about the morality of it all. How does the HR manager ( or whoever ) look the miners in the eyes and tell them sorry there is no money. That whilst millions and millions of hand outs are given to Ashwin, Convicted fraudsters and ANC family members. Surely the truth in this lies somewhere in the middle.

  • yamkela.ngqengqa.1 - 2012-10-23 21:56

    Here is our side of the story, I'm one of those fired\r\nThe company arrested our leaders in connection with the out going leaders as well as 67 people leaving several injured as well as one died! Our demand was for them to freed those arrested is that too much to ask? The Goldfields took our money alongside with the Branch Committee that we don't want to lead us n signed State Funeral without our signatures!

      Karel du Toit - 2012-10-24 10:00

      your demands mean nothing if you strike illegally.

  • tambela.mnyaka - 2012-10-23 22:24

    Wow gold fields means business here....

  • kenneth.maake - 2012-10-23 23:32

    Great, now people will stop striking for craze wage hikes

  • orania.betaenduro - 2012-10-24 08:15

    I dont want to see anyone out of work but when your boss tells you to be at work and you dont appear well then you kinda deserve to be fired.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-24 08:48


  • kerneels.kornhole - 2012-11-13 18:11

    Now the latest demand is R16000, after deductions. R16000 ?!?!?!?! That's 190k annual cash in pocket. Geez, scr3w this varsity nonsense and the physics degree... I'm going mining. Work for 3-4 years and buy a house, cash.

  • kerneels.kornhole - 2012-11-13 18:16

    Now the latest demand is R16000 p.m. after deductions. R16000 !!?!?! That's 190K ( give or take a few) annual cash in pocket. Geeez !! Scr3w this varsity nonsense and physics degree... I'm going mining. Work for 3-4 years then buy a house, cash. Basically do what most families take 15 years to do - pay a house off.

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