Sibanye Stillwater strike should have been at CCMA a long time ago: Analyst

Labour analyst Terry Bell says the protracted strike at the Sibanye Stillwater mine should have been sent to the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) a long time ago.

The mine and unions are meeting in Boksburg under the auspices of the CCMA in a bid to resolve the strike following the intervention of Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Workers are demanding a R1000 increase for surface and underground workers and a six percent increment for artisan miners and officials for three years.

However, the company made a final offer of an R850 increase.

Bell says he believes workers are justifiably angry about not benefiting from the commodities boom.

“It should have gone to the CCMA long before this, I quite honestly don’t know why it has dragged on for so long. The employer very simply has always to guarantee maximum profitability, and that means the greatest amount of, if you wish, exploitation of the cost, and one of the costs of course is labour. In this particular instance, you also have a situation of the commodities boom, and the miners have gotten I think, legitimately rather annoyed about not getting a fair share.

Attitude of parties blamed

Earlier, Nxesi blamed the attitude of the negotiating parties for the failure to resolve the protracted NUM and AMCU wage strike at the mine.

“Whenever a strike goes extraordinary long, we are concerned about its impact on the economy, its impact on the image of the country. Our fear is that this should be addressed before the situation degenerates further, and we don’t want to see the violence that we saw in Marikana. But what is very clear, it’s not about money, it’s not about the affordability, it has to do with the attitudes.”

Meanwhile, NUM says they are still unhappy with lack of progress with Sibanye Stillwater’s management.

Striking employees remain camped outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, saying that they’ll stay there until  President President Cyril Ramaphosa intervenes in their two-month-long wage strike.

Update from the Union Buildings: 

 

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