UPDATE: 12,000 Gold Fields workers go on wildcat strike, no ties to AMCU
Bullion miner Gold Fields says the dispute is an intra union matter and is unlikely to spread to its other operations.
Posted: Friday , 31 Aug 2012
GRONINGEN (MINEWEB) -
Approximately 12,000 employees at Gold Fields' KDC East mine embarked on an illegal strike on Wednesday night, the gold miner announced on Friday.
In an emailed statement, the gold miner said, to date, two night shifts and two day shifts (including Friday) have been lost
The KDC East operations, which was formerly known as the Kloof mine, produces 1660 ounces of gold per day, according to Gold Fields spokesman, Sven Lunsche.
Asked if there was any relationship between this strike and the continued unrest in the platinum sector, Lunsche told Mineweb, that there was no evidence of involvement by the AMCU union that has been at the centre of much of the unrest in the platinum belt. Rather, Lunsche said, "The strike stems from an intra-NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) branch dispute."
He added, "At the moment, NUM representatives from the highest levels are at the mine trying to settle the dispute and there is not sign that this will move to the group's other mines."
According to Reuters AMCU's president told a separate news conference on Friday that it had no members at Gold Fields and was not involved in the strike.
In the press release sent out earlier in the day, Gold Fields quoted Peter Turner, Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields' South Africa Region, as saying, "Based on informal feedback from employees, the strike appears to be related mainly to disagreements within organised labour and related structures on the mine, although we cannot confirm this."
For the latest quarter to end June, the gold miner's KDC operation produced 279,000 ounces of gold, up 12% from the March quarter.
As of 15h30, Gold Fields shares were down 5.44% on the JSE