Strike cost Northam R200m

Picture: Neil McCartney.

Northam Platinum has so far lost about R200 million because of the strike at its Zondereinde mine in Limpopo, the company said on Wednesday.

“The revenue losses result from a strike by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which has declined the company’s offer for wage increases of up to 9 percent,” the company said in a statement.

“Employees have lost R30 million in wages to date.”

NUM members went on strike at the company’s Zondereinde mine, near Amandelbult, on November 3.

They were demanding an increase of R2100 for core workers, such as rock drill operators, and R2000 for non-core workers.

The union rejected the company’s revised wage offer of a 7.5 percent increase for non-core category two to eight employees, and 8.5 percent for core employees in the same categories.

In categories nine and 10, the company revised its offer to seven percent for non-core workers and 7.5 percent for core workers, and the living-out allowance to seven percent. The company was proposing a two-year wage.

“On average, Zondereinde produces 1000 ounces on a daily basis. The company cannot accede to the NUM’s demands, which would significantly raise the cost base of the business and jeopardise the sustainability of the company and jobs, in the longer term.”

NUM said the strike would continue until an agreement was reached.

“[We] have resolved to continue with the strike at Northam Platinum after a mass meeting with the members today,” chief negotiator Ecliff Tantsi said on Tuesday.

He briefed members about the outcome of a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration-facilitated process held on Friday to try to resolve the wage dispute.

“Workers further resolved that we must march to the Northam Platinum head office in Johannesburg on Tuesday next week,” Tantsi said.

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