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'Unfathomable' that AMCU wants sympathy strikes - Minerals Council CEO

Feb 22 2019 12:20
Sibongile Khumalo

Fifteen mining companies have received notices of secondary strike action from trade union AMCU, the Minerals Council said in a statement on Friday, saying the companies would do "everything in their power" to avert the sympathy strikes. 

This comes as AMCU upped the ante earlier in the week by calling for sympathy strikes in support of its ongoing stay-away at Sibanye-Stillwater.

"It is unfathomable that Amcu would willingly call for secondary strikes in an industry that is already in jeopardy," said Minerals Council CEO, Roger Baxter.

The council said the sympathy strikes would further undermine the sustainability of the local mining industry, noting that 71% of gold mining operations were either marginal or loss making, while over half of platinum group metals production was unsustainable.

It said the 15 companies – which it did not name – had received notices of secondary strike action proposed for between February 28 and March 7, 2019.  

In addition to wanting Sibanye to agree to its wage demands, the union has also rejected the R5.17bn takeover of Lonmin by Sibanye. Its case is set to be heard by the Competition Appeal Court of South Africa on April 2.

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