12,000 Gold Fields gold mining workers went on strike, this recent conflict is likely to have a significant impact on mining activity across the country.
Gold Fields, the world’s fourth-largest gold producer, told the KDC mine that the miners have been on strike since Wednesday night after a dispute between the unions and company representatives.
Gold Fields representative Sven Lunsche said the surprise strike has no direct connection to the recent crisis in the Marikana mining complex where 44 people were killed after laying down their tools and refusing to work to claim wages. higher. However, it recognizes that “the atmosphere in the mining industry is currently very volatile and this could have a direct impact on the situation”. This crisis had already resulted in a loss of 1,600 ounces of gold a day.
The unrest in the Lonmin-operated mines in London-based Marikana has been spurred by a dispute between two rival unions, the Mine Workers’ Association and the Workers Union, a new movement that has made breakthroughs. in the gold sector.
AMCU does not have representatives at the Gold Fields mine, although it has already tried to recruit members there. Industry representatives stated that the fact that gold producers used collective bargaining to negotiate with unions should reduce the risk of disability for Lodmin society but also benefit the entire industry sector. gold.
But the Marikana crisis has increased nervousness throughout the industry, while highlighting what appears to be growing dissatisfaction among workers with the NUM, which has been the dominant union in the mining sector for three decades.
Lesiba Seshoka, a NUM spokesperson, said the union had sent a team to the KDC mine to see what the workers’ concerns were. However, he denied rumors of internal trade union conflict as “purely false”.
He added that workers ‘concerns seem to be related to mandatory funeral coverage under which a portion of workers’ wages is deducted each month.
Mr. Lunsche says the funeral cover was initially put in place at NUM’s request, but was removed from the bargaining table by the company as soon as it was raised
e as a problem by the workers.
In Marikana, Lonmin continued to hold talks with the unions, mediating with government officials to try to find a solution to the crisis. Last Friday, less than 6% of the company’s 28,000 employees came to practice their profession. The strike costs Lonmin 2500 ounces of gold lost production per day.
The redemption price of gold could be pulled up in the next few days, but it seems that the situation should quickly return to normal: no need to sell or buy in a moment of panic.