Nearly 450 Gold One miners failed to resurface from their late shift at the Gold One Modder East Mine on the East Rand on Thursday. In October, more than 540 workers staged a four-day sit-in over organisational rights between unions, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), according to Jacaranda FM. Last month, NUM terminated its closed shop agreement at the mine, which gave the union exclusive rights to organise workers there since 2012.
Gold One Mine’s head of legal, Ziyaad Hassam, says the reasons for the latest sit-in are still unclear: “Although we can’t confirm at this stage, it related to the conclusion of disciplinary hearings yesterday (Thursday) where somewhere in the region of 50 employees were found guilty and dismissed. Those disciplinary hearings were in relation to the previous hostage situation.”
Hassam described it as a hostage situation, with at least 70 middle management officials and contractors being held against their will: “This morning (Friday) two employees managed to escape and they confirmed there’s a small number of employees with balaclavas – so their identities are unknown to us at this stage – that are holding the other employees against their will.”
At the same time, over 20 miners have been allowed to resurface at Weziwe’s Bakubung mine in Rustenburg in the North West after over 250 employees failed to resurface on Wednesday. Workers there are demanding wage increases, maternity benefits for women workers, and an end to section 189 processes announced at the end of last month.
Picture: X / tndaba
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