IMPALA Platinum (Implats) confirmed a strike was underway at its Rustenburg mines involving contractors who are members of the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (NUMSA). The industrial action would have minimal impact on production, it added.
NUMSA members employed by three contractors – Newrak, Reagetswe Mining Group and Triple M Mining – embarked on an “indefinite strike”, the union said earlier today.
“They have been provoked into taking this drastic action because they are fed up with being abused by these labour brokers who exploit them by paying them very little and denying them benefits while they reap massive profits,” it said.
Johan Theron, spokesman for Implats, said the strike action was limited to three companies and that all three other unions with members employed at the mines “… have a larger representation”.
“The biggest impact will potentially be at end of life shafts – 1 and 6 – which were due for closure, but which were extended through deployment of contacting arrangements,” said Theron. “Services rendered can be sourced from alternative resources,” he added.
“We are deeply concerned and we are working with all affected parties in order to secure a legal sustainable resolution as best we can,” he said.
NUMSA claimed that two of the contracting companies – Reagetswe and Triple M – were ignoring a Labour Court ruling ordering them to do verifications which the union said would “confirm NUMSA is the majority union”.
“At the same time, Newrak is frustrating workers by refusing them the right to be represented by the union and they are refusing to allow the union to access the workplace,” the union said.
NUMSA members have been called to gather at Implats’ properties tomorrow (Tuesday) “to promote the strike,” it said.