Gold Fields issues final warning

2012-10-22 11:36

Johannesburg - More than 8 000 workers involved in an illegal strike at Gold Fields' KDC East mine will be fired if they fail to return to work on Monday night and Tuesday morning, the company said on Monday.

"We are going to have to wait and see if they come in for work," spokesperson Willie Jacobsz said.

Gold Fields issued a final ultimatum to striking workers at its KDC East mine on Friday.

"Gold Fields... regrets to advise that approximately 8 500 of the 12 500 employees at KDC East, [who were] on an unlawful strike since 14 October, 2012, have not yet returned to work," Jacobsz said at the time.

"Gold Fields, with the support of the board of directors, this afternoon issued a final ultimatum to present themselves for work starting with the night shift on Monday, 22 October 2012, and the morning and afternoon shifts on Tuesday... or face immediate dismissal."

Strikers were told about a court order which declared their strike illegal, but refused to return to work.

"Striking employees and their representatives have also been given sufficient opportunities to make representations as to why they should not be dismissed, all of which were not taken up."

After an initial ultimatum, Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] reported a full worker turnout at most of its mines on Friday.

KDC East miners were not covered by the initial ultimatum, as their strike had started on October 14, whereas workers at the other shafts went on strike on August 29.

The KDC East workers were unhappy with the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) branch leadership at the mine, said another Gold Fields spokesperson Sven Lunsche.

After intervention by the union's national leaders, the branch leadership stood down and a new election was scheduled for October.

However, since then intermittent violence between various factions had led to the arrest of a number of striking mineworkers and members of the NUM's interim branch committee, he said.

On the morning of October 12, 14 workers and members of the interim committee were arrested for attempted murder, intimidation and violence after the former members of the mine's NUM branch leadership were attacked.

That night, a group of miners went to the Westonaria police station where the 14 were being held. They demanded that their colleagues be released and vandalised the building.

Police arrested 74 miners for public violence.

The strike at KDC East resumed the next day. The workers' only real demand was the release of those arrested, Lunsche said.

"This is clearly not in our control. We have won an interdict to declare the strike unlawful and unprotected and we are looking at all our options on how to bring it to an end."


  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-22 11:45

    Fire them. If you dont show your strength they will continue to show contempt. They are like naughty children. Let them go home with nothing and tell their families why they lost their jobs. Let it be a lesson to all with similar ideas.

      daniel.jacobs.3766 - 2012-10-22 12:04

      Kenpeg, you wouldn't repeat your statement if you saw the Carte Blanche report on Goldfields.

      arthur.letlhogonolo - 2012-10-22 12:11

      iam laughing on your face! wat if it was u? w working hard but they thank us wit peanuts! dis mining industry is gonna change 4 gud, mayb u r 1 of d fatcats exploiting d workers.

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-10-22 12:33

      tell me more about Carte Blanche report ?

      frank.vankaapstad - 2012-10-22 12:46

      Having watched the Carte Blanche report my opinion on this matter has changed substantially. Management are screwing these workers. Why on earth is Ashwin Willemse getting money from Goldfields? I don't recall him ever being a miner before becoming a Springbok. Goldfields shareholders should revolt and demand answers and a full investigation into the BEE deal done at this company. The people that should benefit from this deal aren't.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-10-22 12:57

      Andre.rabie.14 - saw that programme last night. Shocking to say the least. Now I am not surprised the workers are striking. Can you imagine no gold production - no millions for Gayton McKenzie, Kunene, Mdludi and the rest of the crooked swines in this saga.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-22 11:51

    i hope they do'nt go back to work. after what Carte Blanche exposed i'm all for the miners. They have been made fools of and sold out by the comrades and their employers. Corruption has reared it's ugly head yet again. ANC, YOU ARE GOING TO UNLEASH AN UPRISING WHICH YOU WILL REGRET!This has gone far enough! You will get what you deserve.

      peter.ndamase - 2012-10-22 13:04

      That Carte blanche clip should be played out to all striking miners so that they intensify their agenda.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-22 14:09

      They might never get a job at a mine again, the miners dependents will suffer most. Miners have up to 10 dependents each.

  • Poloyatonki1.lee - 2012-10-22 11:54

    There is no way you can fire 8000 people. How will you sleep at night after doing such thing????

      bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-10-22 11:57

      like a baby

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-22 12:02

      They don't want to work for a certain time then they can be disciplined. This is the labour law. Most people get fired after 7 days.

      joe.irwin.50 - 2012-10-22 12:07

      They are not going to get what they demand, we all know that. The warnings have been given,and generally been ignored. The leaders have been informed of the consequences, if they choose to disregard the warnings it is them who should be having sleep problems when the inevitable happens.

  • simon.stamp.98 - 2012-10-22 11:54

    How many 'final warnings' can one get? Only to even if it comes to firing, to be reinstated again. No wonder the strikers don't worrie at all about 'final warnings', it only makes the employers rediculous.

  • willbeonekenobi - 2012-10-22 11:57

    if they were not happy with their wages/salary then why don't they find other work that they can do. Or if they live far from the mine rather move closer to save on transport/petrol costs

      arthur.letlhogonolo - 2012-10-22 12:06

      u jus say nicely, w r totally unhappy wit wages, especially after discovering hw much w must earn per month. hw much does mining industry lost in a week strike? but they cant pay us!

  • magatikele.magatikele - 2012-10-22 12:15

    What a day in South Afica. The poor workers are leaderless again. Can someone assist both parties? as we can see they are all mislead by their leaders. I strongly believe that the problem can be easly resolve if all parties are well represented and given proper advices. Good luck.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-22 12:35

      Miners can also think for themselves for a change. If they fail to listen they will be disciplined.

  • susan.pretorius.31 - 2012-10-22 12:20

    No more sympathy for the mine from me.If they have got so much money for fraudsters they can pay their workers more.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-22 12:38

    Fire the whole bloody and then employ whites who are more dependable. Why struggle with people who do not want to work?

  • johann.enslin.9 - 2012-10-22 12:52

    Everything the ANC has touched has turned to excrement.

  • karen.hartabrie - 2012-10-22 13:16

    After watching Carte Blanche last night - makes one wander..............

  • tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-22 13:23

    This country is as rotten as the old CCCP in the old days.

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