JOHANNESBURG, March 24 – The unprotected strike at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine near Carletonville, west of Johannesburg, came to an end on Friday.
This follows discussions between senior management of Harmony and the senior leadership of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
Harmony chief executive, Peter Steenkamp, said he was pleased that the matter had been resolved and that operations at Kusasalethu would return to normality.
“Today the parties demonstrated that they are willing and able to put their differences aside in the best interests of our
employees and their families,” Steenkamp said.
Production to a halt on Thursday, as a result of the industrial action as no workers reported for the day shift, an action management feared would undermined the continued viability of the mine.
The strike, which resulted in only 25 percent of the workforce reporting for work on Wednesday, was in response to the suspension of the branch leaders of Amcu after the union leadership encouraged an illegal go-slow at the mine.
The industrial action was in reaction to the disciplinary procedures taken by the company against 40 employees following an earlier sit-in at Kusasalethu in January this year.
About 1,700 workers belonging to various unions participated in a 48-hour sit-in at Kusasalethu mine in January, which brought production to a standstill.
They were protesting over unpaid bonuses due to them from last year and the removal of the general manager, as well as assurances that disciplinary action would not be pursued against them.
Harmony has nine underground mines, one open-pit mine, and several surface operations in South Africa.
Kusasalethu mine is Harmony’s deepest mine at over 3km deep, and employs a 4,483 workers – 3,944 of them are permanent employees and rest are contractors.
– African News Agency (ANA)